Whittell football beats Wells 62-8 in postseason opener, advances to 1A State playoffs
WELLS, Nev. — The Whittell football team scored on the first play from scrimmage in its postseason opener Friday, Nov. 4. From there, the Warriors were off and running.
West League second seed Whittell routed East League champion Wells (Nev.) 62-8 in the 1A League Playoffs. The Warriors rolled on the road to advance to the state playoffs for the second straight season.
Whittell (9-1) had a 34-point lead by the end of the first quarter, and opened up a 56-0 advantage by halftime. The Warriors ran for 424 yards against Wells (6-5) led by 100-yard performances from senior Dismas Womack and sophomore Dalton Warswick.
“We got ahead early and then just tried to play hard and not make mistakes,” Warriors coach Phil Bryant said.
Womack ran for 169 yards and four touchdowns on six carries Friday, and finished 3-of-4 passing for 57 yards. Warswick had 152 yards rushing and two scores on eight attempts, and junior Connor Huber ran for 56 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Warriors largely grounded Wells’ pass-happy attack. Warswick and senior Sam Berry each returned interceptions for touchdowns, and the pass rush led by Huber, senior Kai Mangaracina, senior Pierce Manchester and junior Bastion Elkins pressured Leopards quarterback Zane Rodriguez throughout the game.
Rodriguez went 12-of-32 with 144 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. It was the sophomore’s third-lowest total of the season.
“Wells throws on almost every down, so it was fun to play against a team that does so many different things,” Bryant said. “It was a great opportunity to work on pass defense.”
Whittell advanced to the 1A State semifinals with the win, where it will face Southern League champion Pahranagat Valley (Alamo, Nev.) (10-0). The eight-time defending state champion Panthers own a 103-game winning streak — the longest active streak in the nation — that includes a 54-28 win over the Warriors in last year’s Div. IV State title game.
“It is a great opportunity for us and we feel we are ready for the challenge,” Bryant said. “After playing them last year in the championship game, we learned a lot about playing error-free football. It will take a big effort from all our guys but we feel we will get it from everyone.”
The Warriors play the Panthers Friday, Nov. 11, at 6 p.m. West League champion Virginia City (10-0) hosts Southern second seed Spring Mountain (Las Vegas) (7-2) in the other semifinal, with kickoff at noon on Friday — the winners advance to the 1A State championship game.
“We have great kids and a great staff with everyone working hard to make this Pahranagat trip a positive one,” Bryant said.