Whittell football rolls past Loyalton 58-0 in season opener
LOYALTON, Calif. — The Whittell football team opened its 2015 season with a decisive performance. The Warriors beat Loyalton (Calif.) 58-0 on the road last Saturday, Aug. 29, riding a fast start to a victory over the Grizzlies.
Whittell (1-0) opted to take the wind instead of the ball to start the game, and forced a three-and-out after a touchback from Palmer Chaplin on the opening kickoff. A short punt gave the Warriors the ball deep in Grizzlies’ territory, and Dismas Womack ran for a score on Whittell’s first offensive play.
The Warriors scored touchdowns on each of their next four possessions, and had a 32-0 lead over Loyalton (0-1) by the end of the first quarter. The 58-point shutout win marked Whittell’s most lopsided result under second-year head coach Phil Bryant.
Offensively, quarterback Colin Buchholz shared the playmaking duties with running backs Womack, Corey Huber and Connor Huber. Womack topped the 100-yard mark on the ground with four rushing touchdowns, Corey Huber ran for more than 100 yards and Connor Huber finished just under the century mark.
“The offensive line was productive in opening holes and the backs ran well,” Bryant said.
The wind and the outcome Saturday led to a limited number of throwing opportunities for Buchholz, but Bryant said his leadership and offensive savvy keyed Whittell’s offense. Chaplin provided a boost in special teams, pinning the Grizzlies deep on kickoffs while converting all of his extra point attempts.
Whittell’s defense only allowed Loyalton to cross midfield three times in the shutout, and the Grizzlies didn’t get deeper than the 32-yard line. Buchholz, Kai Mangiaracina, Quinn Kixmiller and Caleb Morreti were the standouts for a defensive unit that delivered a solid performance.
Whittell returns to action Thursday, Sept. 10, when it opens Div. IV West League play against Sierra Lutheran (0-1). Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Bryant was impressed by the Warriors’ season opening performance, and said that South Tahoe’s season opener a night earlier in South Lake Tahoe also left a strong impression. Though the Vikings lost in their debut under new head coach Louis Franklin, Bryant liked the what he saw on both sides of the ball and expects a strong season across town.
“He has those kids flying around everywhere and it creates excitement and enthusiasm,” Bryant said. “We are all South Tahoe here — whether it’s the Vikings or the Warriors — and I enjoyed watching them play.”