Wolves turn back Sierra Lutheran
Momentum appeared to swing in favor of the Sierra Lutheran Falcons early in their Western Nevada 1A 8-man football contest Saturday at home against Coleville.
After Rocky DiMartino came up with a defensive fumble recovery on the game’s first play from scrimmage, Cole Contreras ran the ball on six straight plays and Nathan Waite caught a pass from quarterback Thomas Mellum to the 1. On second-and-goal, however, Coleville’s Omar Saldivar blasted in from outside and forced a fumble that resulted in a 10-yard loss.
Two plays later, freshman Jacob Anderson partially blocked a 33-yard field goal attempt by John Miles as the momentum shifted to put Coleville on track to a 46-7 win at Sierra Lutheran’s Pastor Emil Leising Memorial Field.
Quarterback Andrew Robles threw four touchdown passes while Cody Gottfried caught one scoring pass and ran for another touchdown to spark Coleville (3-1 league, 5-1 overall) offensively in its win over Sierra Lutheran (1-2, 1-4).
Both coaches, Will Sandy of Coleville and Billy McHenry of Sierra Lutheran, looked back at that opening drive as a pivotal point.
“They came out and brought it to us; they wanted to win the game,” Sandy said of the Falcons. “But the play by Omar kind of turned things around. And then Jacob blocking the field goal … he’s been playing outstanding for us.”
McHenry felt a touchdown in that situation would have been important for the Falcons.
“If we score there, it might have been a different game,” McHenry said with a shrug. “When you get to the 1 like that, you need to score touchdowns. But they changed up things down there and I didn’t respond. That one’s on me; I need to call better plays when we’re in the red zone.”
Coleville led 8-0 at the end of one quarter after Corbin Randall reversed his field on a sweep and scampered 17 yards for a touchdown. Quinton Castro caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Robles to make it 16-0, then the Wolves pulled away with two touchdowns inside the final two minutes before halftime.
Ignacio Estrada-Cota intercepted a pass at the 8 to set the stage for a nine-play, 92-yard drive that culminated when Gottfried scored on a 43-yard screen pass from Robles. Randall also gained 19 yards on a second-and-17 screen pass earlier in the drive.
Sandy said Coleville’s success on offense started with an offensive line that includes sophomore center Vernon Painter, junior guard Judson Roberts, senior guard Lucas Loggins and Saldivar at tight end.
“Our offensive line was just outstanding,” Sandy said. “They (Sierra Lutheran) had good reads on both of those screens, but our offensive line picked everyone off. Those were just well executed plays.”
Shortly before halftime, Coleville’s defense held on fourth-and-1 from the 34 and Robles threw a 15-yard touchdown strike to Ignacio Estrada-Cota with two seconds showing on the clock to make it 32-0.
Sierra Lutheran got on the scoreboard in the opening minute of the fourth quarter when quarterback Ryan Salerno threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Nathan Waite on a third-and-6 play. Waite had 20- and 27-yard receptions earlier in the drive to set up the score. Salerno, who has been nursing an injury, came on to play quarterback in the second period.
Contreras rushed for 68 yards on 17 carries and Waite caught six passes for 78 yards to help lead the Falcons offensively. Waite also led the Falcons defensively with 11 tackles (eight solo). Alex Bernhard and Peyton Hedwall also forced fumbles.
“Cole is a Warrior … he had 31 carries last week,” McHenry said of Contreras, who rushed for 196 yards in a 50-9 loss at Excel Christian on Sept. 24. “Cole and Nathan have done a wonderful job. The effort and attitude we get from all of these kids has been wonderful.”
Sloane McCann and Saldivar had sacks for the Wolves.
Coleville celebrates homecoming Saturday at 1 p.m. against Excel Christian. Sierra Lutheran hosts Mineral County Saturday at 1 p.m.