This was supposed to be Coleville’s first serious test of the season.
Sparked by five touchdown passes in the second quarter, however, the Wolves (2-0) took care of business on their way to a 56-0 nonleague 8-man football victory against North Tahoe on a hot Saturday afternoon.
The final score came as a surprise to coach Will Sandy considering North Tahoe, a former Division III program playing as an independent this fall, came into the contest with a 2-0 record.
“They are pretty physical across the line,” Sandy said. “Watching them in warm-ups, I was pretty concerned.”
Seth Huhta was 9-for-13 in the passing department, good for 130 yards and those five touchdown passes in the second quarter — three to Miguel Saldivar and two to Nestor Gutierrez. Huhta also rushed for 76 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown run on Coleville’s opening possession. Huhta also ran for six PAT conversions.
“Coleville was a well-prepared team,” North Tahoe coach Scott Everist said. “We just had a tough day. Many parts of the offense just didn’t click for us. We played well in the first quarter but fell apart quickly after too many penalties and broken plays.”
Huhta did throw an interception on Coleville’s second possession, however, the defense held and Huhta blocked the Lakers’ ensuing field goal attempt.
It was the start of a solid day for a defensive unit that had nine tackles for 47 yards in losses, a fumble recovery by Ashton Mitchell and the blocked field goal attempt.
“Their quarterback (junior Brandon Hayakawa) is a pretty athletic kid who runs the read option well,” Sandy said. “We don’t see that very often, but the guys just did a great job. It wasn’t like they had a lot of turnovers; we just had some good stops.”
Sandy made a couple of adjustments in the defensive lineup for the game — Ricky Gieser moved from middle linebacker to nose guard and Huhta stepped in at middle linebacker.
“Ricky had a heck of a game as far as disrupting their play and enabling our other guys to do their jobs,” Sandy said of Gieser, a 165-pound sophomore.
Gieser was credited with 4.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and Huhta contributed a team-high 10 tackles. Jacob Park and Joel Gomez also turned in strong performances at the outside linebacker positions. Gomez and Mitchell contributed nine and seven tackles respectively.
On the offensive side, Park surpassed the rushing century mark for the second straight week, as the senior running back gained 105 yards on 13 carries and one TD.
Gutierrez caught four passes for 57 yards and two TDs, while Saldivar was effective in the red zone with three receptions for 48 yards and three TDs.
“Miguel is really starting to catch the ball,” Sandy said of Saldivar. “He’s drawing a lot of attention (from opposing defenses) which really helps take pressure off Nestor on the other side. It’s tough to cover both of them.”
The offensive line was anchored by senior Matt Algeo at offensive center.
“He’s not the biggest guy around, but he is a very good technical lineman,” Sandy said of the 5-8, 155-pound Algeo.
North Tahoe’s Lakers, on the other hand, are looking to bounce back to the form that carried them to wins against Pyramid Lake (21-6) and Whittell (53-40) the previous two weeks.
“We were just out of sorts the whole day,” Everist said. “We have a bye this week and hopefully can heal up and be ready to play at the level we did in the first two games.”
Coleville hosts Whittell in its Western Division IV season opener this coming Saturday.