The Rite of Passage and Yerington High football teams went right down to the wire in a battle for third place in the Northern 2A, with ROP coming back for a 26-22 win at home on Friday.
ROP trailed 16-6 at halftime and 22-20 after three quarters, but scored the only touchdown in the fourth quarter for the win. ROP will travel to Battle Mountain for the first round of the playoffs next week while Yerington will travel to Lovelock.
Yerington held out its leading rusher Ricky Menesini, who is nursing a pulled quad. Yerington coach Cody Neville said Menesini probably could have played against ROP, but it was more important to rest him for the playoffs.
There's virtually no difference for Yerington between the No. 3 and No. 4 seed since it took both Lovelock and Battle Mountain down to the wire in losses this year.
The Lions also played the fourth quarter with starting quarterback Matt Richardson, who had to come out with a hip injury. Neville said Richardson should also be ready for the playoffs.
Yerington still almost rallied behind Daniel Bauer at quarterback after Sean Watson recovered a fumble at the Lions' 35-yard line with 30 seconds left. Behind the passing from Bauer to Jeremy Means, Yerington was able to drive inside ROP's 20 before time ran out.
Richardson completed a touchdown pass to Bryan Ausmus before coming out and Bauer, Watson and Ray Leon all ran the ball well for the Lions.
ROP was able to roll up 312 yards rushing behind a balanced attack with Deshaun Alarcon (10-60), Dontae Clay (8-73), Tyrie Green (8-81), Benito Saragoza (6-56) and Zayid Wolfe (6-42).
Saragoza scored two touchdowns and Alarcon and Clay each scored once. ROP forced six turnovers as David Rodriguez had two fumble recoveries, Emmanuel Mendez and David Wilson each had a fumble recovery and Hector Sanchez and Willie Torrence each had an interception. Saragoza also had 11 tackles and a sack and Robert Fungavaka added a sack for ROP.