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Whittell lacks needed time, aggression on the field

Michael Traum

Whittell High football coach Butch Cattanach knew that if his young team fell behind Boulder City early, a comeback would be next to impossible.

He was right.

In the season opener for both schools, the Eagles scored three first-quarter touchdowns en route to a 33-6 drubbing of the Warriors on Sunday in Zephyr Cove.

“What I was afraid of happened. We really don’t have enough aggressive young players yet. It was like a circus out there early on. I’ll take full responsibility. We just weren’t ready,” Cattanach said.

Boulder City looked to exploit Whittell’s youth from the opening kickoff, opening the contest with an onside kick attempt that rolled out of bounds. After the Warriors fumbled away the first play, B.C. marched down and scored on a quarterback keeper by sophomore Lee Hafen.

The Eagles again attempted an onside kick and this time recovered it on the Whittell 32-yard line. Another Hafen keeper and subsequent two-point conversion put B.C. up, 14-0, with 4:06 remaining in the first.

After a three-and-out series by Whittell, B.C. was again on the move. Pushing the Warriors defensive front around at will, the Eagles quickly found pay dirt again. Junior running back Jason McHugh busted one up the middle for an 18-yard touchdown, dragging two defenders with him for the final five yards.

With only 12 minutes gone, B.C. had taken solid control, 20-0. Whittell ran just six offensive plays for eight yards in the first quarter while committing at least eight illegal procedure penalties in the entire contest.

“We’re really happy with our aggression. We tried to pound them down with our horses and just keep going after them,” said third-year Eagles coach Dan Cahill.

Whittell showed signs of its desired game plan in the second quarter. Senior Matt Raab’s 15-yard scamper to the B.C. 15 keyed a drive in which Whittell continually tried to execute its pound-the-ball mentality. On fourth-and-5 from the B.C. 15, sophomore quarterback Trent Gordon, starting his first varsity game, hit receiver Adrian Norman on an out pattern for the Warrior’s lone score. Whittell’s defense stiffened and the half ended, 20-6.

“I don’t think we were intimidated. We just weren’t ready. But our guys have a lot of heart. We’ll improve,” Gordon said.

After a scoreless third quarter infused with penalties and turnovers, B.C. got back on track. Just eight seconds into the fourth, junior Justin Trone broke down the right side of the Whittell defense for a 19-yard ground score. While many Warriors were cramping due to dehydration, one even receiving fluids intravenously on the sidelines, B.C. continued its dominance. With most of the first-teamers on the bench, Eagles quarterback Joel Schrock closed the scoring on a 5-yard keeper with under two minutes to play.

“There’s no doubt that they dominated the game. We can’t play our brand of football when you play this way,” Cattanach said. “But I’m still positive. The kids played their hearts out. We didn’t do badly because of lack of effort. It was lack of execution. We need to make sure we regroup and keep working on the fundamentals.”

Gordon finished 4 of 11 for 39 yards and one touchdown. He was not intercepted. Raab had 17 carries for 54 yards, while Norman caught three balls for 24 yards and a score. Ryan McMillen had seven pounding runs for 23 yards. Whittell had 121 yards of total offense. Stephan Hambsch led the Warriors with 15 tackles and one caused fumble. Jeff Falk and Ryan McMillen each had ten tackles, while Devon Apocotos and Norman each had seven and a fumble recovery.

Trone collected 135 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries to lead B.C. (1-0). Hafen was just 2 for 10 passing but scored two on the ground.

The Warriors (0-1) travel to Rite of Passage on Saturday.


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