Dust Devils look to extend Sparks’ skid

Dayton football coach Rob Turner has spent more than a few moments to lecture his team about overconfidence heading into tonight’s road game against the Sparks Railroaders.

Last year Dayton bounced winless Sparks, 42-19, which kept the Dust Devils in the playoff hunt. Dayton heads into tonight’s game with a 27-12 win over Lovelock, while Sparks has just a scrimmage against Rite of Passage to go on. Sparks has lost 22 straight games.

“We (the coaches) have told the team that we are a different team from last year and they are a different team,” Turner said. “You can’t assume wins and losses based on last year. We are definitely guarding against overconfidence.

“The film we got from them wasn’t the greatest. We prepare for schemes not players. Sparks runs some read option, so we’ve been going over assignments for that. Lovelock runs more of a traditional option. I would rather have numbers to refer back to in our reports.”

Sylis Sanchez, last year’s JV starter at QB, will run the show for Rob Kittrell’s Railroaders. Another JV star from last year, Jon Anguiano, is being counted on heavily. Zach Hix, a senior, rushed for 99 yards last year.

Turner got some god news this week. Julio Meza, who missed last week’s game because of a nagging injury, will suit up this week.

“It does give us some flexibility on both sides of the ball,” Turner said.

“He can play a little hybrid linebacker for us, and he also can play safety or corner. We’re a little thin at linebacker. He helps on offense because it gives us a true winbgback who is a running and receiving threat.”

Turner said Thomas Jones and Adam Smith are both still out this week.

The Dayton coach said much of the week has been focused on blocking. Skyler Berntson rushed 16 times for 165 yards last week.

“We’re trying to get better at finishing blocks,” Turner said. “I think last week we did better than we did all last year. We spent time working on our core group of plays.

“Defensively, I thought we got better as the game progressed. We have the speed and athletes (to be a good defense).”

The offensive line doesn’t have to be too fine, as Berntson doesn’t need a huge hole to get through. He hits the hole in a hurry.


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