Football: Coleville upends Wells in first round |

Football: Coleville upends Wells in first round

by Herb Hall,

Only one question remains following Coleville’s 52-38 first round playoff drubbing of Wells Saturday in Coleville.

How good are these guys anyway?

While Coleville’s offense spent most of the regular season taking advantage of the weakest schedule of any 1A playoff team, questions remained about the Wolves’ ability to match-up physically with some of the 1A’s top teams.

Just ask Coleville coach Will Sandy, who coached his first playoff game in 15 years.

“I was scared to death of being out-physicalled,” said Sandy. “But our defense really proved that they can be tough. They’re the part of the team that really stepped up.”

The question was answered for Wells’ coach Steve Rodriguez as well. His Leopards had one of the 1A’s toughest schedules, playing Pahranagat Valley, Carlin and Tonopah.

And while Wells lost badly to Tonopah, the Leopards played Pahranagat and Carlin to identical 26-20 scores, both losses.

“Their defense was a little more physical than I thought they’d be,” said Rodriguez. “We had a tougher time running the ball than I would’ve liked to have seen for sure.

“They’ll come out and hit you and tackle. That’s something that’s sometimes hard to see on film. But they came out ready to play today.”

No doubt the Coleville offense, behind the throwing and running of Jason Peters, was ready to play.

Peters hit Trevor Anderson for a 49-yard touchdown pass on the Wolves’ first possession and had it not been for three unforced fumbles in the half, Coleville might’ve hung 50 first half points on the Leopards.

As it was, the Wolves led 30-6 at halftime following Peters’ 20-yard touchdown pass to Emmi Sandoval, Peters’ three-yard touchdown run and a 65-yard touchdown pass to Anderson.

Wells’ only first-half score came on a one-yard touchdown run by James Cromie following a 21-yard pass to Jimmy Lotspeich that cut Coleville’s lead to 14-6 late in the first quarter.

But the Leopards would never get closer, despite scoring on consecutive possessions at the start of the second half, the first on a Cromie to Lotspeich pass and the second a Cromie to James Brough pass that Brough fumbled at the goal line before it was recovered by KJ Schoessler in the end zone.

“We did what it seems like we’ve done all year in our losses,” said Rodriguez. “We dig ourselves a hole but today we dug ourselves a grave and we couldn’t get out of it.

“We made a run in the second half but they answered right back and came up with more big plays.”

Those big plays came from a variety of sources as Peters completed at least three passes to four different receivers. Anderson led the corps with seven catches for 175 yards, Emmi Sandoval caught six for 77 yards, including three for touchdowns, Dylan Hudson added three catches for 37 yards and tight end Marco Brajas had six catches for 70 yards, most of which came on inside screens that the Wolves used to counter Wells’ inside pressure.

“It’s tough to cover all three receivers,” said Sandy. “You have to make a choice and that leaves somebody open. Jason had a great day. He really made some good decisions.

“And running the ball he picked his spots and was really effective. He ran just enough to keep them honest. And I was really proud of the line. We did a pretty good job of picking up the blitz and protecting Jason.”

Coleville also kept it honest on the defensive side, first by plugging the middle where Brough has done his damage this season and then on the outside, keeping speedy Shawn Pearson in check.

“For the most part everyone stayed home and did their job,” said Sandy. “You can’t cheat against that team or they’ll make you pay.

“Our nose tackle Carlos Hernandez gets a lot of the credit for stopping Brough up the middle. If the nose guard is blowing up the middle then your linebackers can make the tackles.”

Coleville totaled 481 yards of offense with Peters connecting on 22 of 33 passes for 366 yards and five touchdowns. He ran for a net of 45 yards on 12 carries after being sacked a few times, but had almost 60 yards rushing in the first half, most of which came when he left the pocket to avoid would-be tacklers.

Wells was limited to less than 200 yards of offense, although Pearson picked-up large chunks of yardage with a kickoff return for a touchdown and on another long return after he fooled the entire Coleville kickoff team on a fake reverse.

Coleville now awaits a semifinal game with TONOPAH which dismantled MOUNTAIN VIEW 44-8 in Tonopah in another 1A game Saturday.

Since both Coleville and Tonopah were number one seeds, the host team for Saturday’s game won’t be known until a coin flip is conducted at the NIAA’s office in Reno on Monday afternoon.