YERINGTON - The Golden Pick annually goes to the best football team in Lyon County. The Dayton Dust Devils have control of the coveted pick, and there are no signs to indicate that the pick is going anywhere but the school's trophy case.
Yerington surprised Dayton with an early first-quarter score, but the Dust Devils blanked the Lions the rest of the way en route to a convincing 45-6 win in a nonleague game Friday night at Martin Field.
Dayton improved to 3-1, and treated the game just as serious as when both of the teams were 3A.
"This may be the best start ever," Dayton coach Rick Walker said after the game. "We don't have a lot of seniors, but we have a good group (of them). I coached a lot of them when they were freshmen. Whatever I've asked them to do, they've done it.
"It's still a big game. Look over there. They still have as many kids as we do."
This win can be chalked up to a stifling defense and some big plays on special teams. The offense was efficient, but only had to put one big drive (70 yards) together all night. Of the seven scores, six TDs and a field goal, five started inside Yerington territory and a sixth started at the Dayton 43.
Yerington managed just 100 yards total offense, 42 coming on its only scoring drive of the game and 55 on its final drive which resulted in an interception in the end zone in the waning moments of the game.
On their other eight possessions, the Lions gained just three yards. That's not a stat to write home about.
Dayton was especially effective shutting down Yerington's outside running game because its defensive linemen were able to dominate Yerington's front and get deep in the backfield.
"The defense played pretty good," Walker said. "At times, though, we should have done better. We didn't execute well at times."
If Walker is talking about Yerington's two good drives, he is right on the money. If he meant overall, he may be trying to get into his team's collective
head and squeeze some more out of them.
Yerington scored on its first possession, driving 57 yards on eight plays, capped by Josh Inserra's halfback option pass to Bryon Ausmus. The Yerington
receiver caught the ball in the right flat at about the 11 and raced to the end zone after Josh Aaker slipped to the grass to give the Lions a quick 6-0
lead with 6:18 left in the first quarter.
That seemed to wake Dayton up, and the demolition was on.
"You can't underestimate anybody," Walker said. "When that (first score) happened they woke up. Obviously
they were done scoring."
Dayton drove 70 yards on the ensuing possession, Travis Wood capping the drive with a 9-yard scoring pass to Zane Walker. Trent Wood's PAT kick gave Dayton a 7-6 lead with 3:23 left. Travis Wood completed a 25-yard pass to Walker early in the drive and then hooked up with his brother, Trent, with a 17-yard completion.
A fumble by Trevor Hayes that was recovered by Erik Hopper gave the Dust Devils great field position at the Yerington 21. After a running play lost a yard, Hopper scored on a 22-yarder. Wood's PAT made it 14-6 with 1:24 left.
The special teams got into the act next. On fourth-and-21 from the Yerington 15, Inserra was smothered by Andy Salazar for a 10-yard loss back at the Yerington 5. The snap was low, but poor line blocking led to the loss.
Yerington held on three straight plays and Trent Wood kicked a 23-yard field goal for a 17-6 lead with 9:47 remaining in the half.
Dayton held again and Kevin May blocked Inserra's punt, giving the Dust Devils great field position at the Yerington 44. Five plays later, Hopper scored from the 1. Wood's extra point made it 24-6.
The Dust Devils blocked another kick on Yerington's next possession, again taking over at the Yerington 5. Dayton didn't score, as Travis Wood threw an interception on a fake field goal attempt.
Travis Wood had a nice night, completing 7 of 13 passes for 121 yards. May carried 16 times for 59 yards. All told, Dayton gained 259 yards. Not a
dominant night, but good enough to get the job done.
Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com or 881-1281.