There was one offensive hiccup Saturday for the Coleville High football team, one of very few missteps all season.
On their opening drive, Excel Christian’s defense stuffed senior running back Jacob Park for a 4-yard loss on a second-and-1 play. The setback was only temporary because Park literally was never tackled again as he rushed for 252 yards and four touchdowns for the Wolves in their 54-6 Western Division IV victory.
Park scored his touchdowns on successive carries — covering 60, 73, 45 and 67 yards — to help Coleville (3-0 league, 5-0 overall) keep its perfect record intact.
It was also a memorable game for senior lineman Matt Algeo, who was given a chance to play in the backfield and was rewarded with a 2-yard touchdown run in the final minute.
“It’s been his dream,” Coleville coach Will Sandy said of the 5-foot-8, 155-pound Algeo. “Four years and he’s been one of our leaders. You see he’s not the biggest guy on the team, but he’s probably got the biggest heart, so the least his teammates could do is get him across one time.”
Talk about being opportunistic, the Wolves only needed 16 offensive plays to score seven touchdowns for a 46-0 halftime lead.
What about that hiccup on the opening drive? Park was stopped for a loss by the Warriors’ Christopher Johnson and Jake Sharp at the 15, but two plays later Nestor Gutierrez caught a 9-yard pass from Seth Huhta for a 6-0 lead.
Park’s 60-yard run made it 12-0, as the 5-7, 145-pounder cut back behind downfield interference by Gutierrez that took out two defenders.
“Our line blocked really well and our receivers downfield did a nice job of blocking,” Park said. “I just did a good job of reading my blocks.”
The Wolves’ wide receivers are effective blockers, Sandy noted.
“The downfield blocking was excellent,” he said. “So they caught a couple of touchdown passes. But when they’re not catching the ball, they don’t care, they still block.”
Algeo also figured prominently in the blocking scheme that created open running space for Park.
“I just come across and try to open up a hole for Jacob,” Algeo said. “And it usually works out pretty well because we open up the middle of the field real well.”
Huhta was 4-for-4 passing on the day, good for 86 yards and 3 TDs. Miguel Saldivar made an over-the-shoulder catch in the end zone for a 45-yard in the first quarter and later hauled in a 22-yard scoring strike from Huhta.
Defensively, Ricky Gieser led the Wolves with 18 tackles, in addition to 3 fumble recoveries. Joel Gomez also had a hand in 10 tackles. Algeo and Park each forced one fumble.
“I thought our defense was pretty good,” said Park, who plays linebacker. “We made a couple of mistakes tackling-wise, including myself, but I think it’s something we can go into next week and work on.”
The Wolves host undefeated Virginia City on Saturday.