Incline football | Defending champs too explosive to handle |

Incline football | Defending champs too explosive to handle

Staff report

Incline football coach Scott Conn and the Highlanders knew that facing defending state champion Yerington on the road would be a challenge. The Lions confirmed as much Friday night.

The Lions jumped out to a 37-0 halftime lead and went on to deal the Highlanders their first league loss, 46-20.

"They got off to a fast start. They're the defending state champions, so we knew it was going to be tough coming in," said Conn, whose team dropped to 1-1 in Division III play and 3-2 overall. "They have a good program, from Pop Warner to JV to varsity. So even though they lost a lot of seniors, we knew they were going to reload and that this was going to be a tough game, especially at their house."

With strong line play and an explosive offense led by quarterback Dakota Aiazzi, Yerington (2-0 league) raced out to a 27-0 lead in the first quarter while holding Incline's talented offensive unit off the scoreboard until the third quarter.

Aiazzi threw for 356 yards and four touchdowns on 16-of-28 passing, despite Incline picking off three passes. Quarterback and safety Jack Clouthier intercepted two of Aiazzi's pass attempts, while Alex Zissis picked one.

Conn said the Lions' defensive front caused havoc for the Incline offense with its quickness and strength.

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"Their pass rush was very dynamic," he said. "It was one of the more fierce pass rushes we've ever seen. Our line did well in spots, but I don't think they were ready for that type of fierceness."

Owen Graffis led the Incline ground game with 70 yards on 17 carries, with two touchdown rushes. Ben Snyder caught six passes for 67 yards to lead Incline's receiving corps, and Clouthier completed 9 of his 26 pass attempts for 88 yards, with one interception.

Snyder and Michael Guymon both recovered a fumble and finished with a team-high nine tackles, while Guymon and Kaelan Pugh each recorded a sack.

Michael Monahan and Reese Neville led the Lions' air attack with two touchdowns apiece. Monahan finished with 138 yards on six catches, and Neville had 132 yards on six catches.

Yerington improved to 2-2 overall with the win. The Lions dropped both of their nonleague contests to open the season — 14-0 to Division I-A Truckee and by forfeit to Division I Hug.

Incline, which has a bye this week, will host Silver Stage on Friday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m.

Incline 20, Yerington 46

Incline 0 0 8 12 — 20

Yerington 27 10 3 6 — 46

Individual stats

RUSHING — Incline, 35-147: Graffis 17-70; Sunseri 10-67; Clouthier 6-19; Zissis 2-(-9). Yerington, 15-177: Neville 2-75; Rubio 9-66; Monahan 2-25; Aiazzi 2-11.

PASSING — Incline: Clouthier 9-26-88-0-1. Yerington: Aiazzi 16-28-356-4-3.

RECEIVING — Incline: Snyder 6-67; Zissis 2-12; Sunseri 1-9. Yerington: Monahan 6-138; Neville 6-132; Brannan 2-42; Sciarani 1-31; Hammond 1-13.