Incline football: Mustangs too strong to contain
Northern Division III standings
Team League Overall
Yerington 2-0 6-0
Pershing County 2-0 4-2
Battle Mountain 1-0 3-2
West Wendover 1-2 2-4
Incline 0-2 3-3
Silver Stage 0-2 0-3
The Incline football team could not have faced a tougher start to league play.
A week after losing their quarterback and league opener against Division III juggernaut Yerington, the Highlanders fell 53-7 to another perennial league power in visiting Pershing County on Friday.
“That was a beat-down — a frustrating beat-down for us,” said Incline coach Scott Conn. “Pershing County and Yerington just have our number every year. I think we had a hangover from losing our starting quarterback, and Pershing County is well-coached enough to take advantage of that.”
Six different Mustangs scored a touchdown, with senior Marcus Nester leading the way with two TDs and 102 yards rushing on five carries. The visitors scored on their first two possessions and exploded for 30 points in the second quarter en route to a commanding 46-7 lead at the half.
“Despite the fact that Pershing County scored all those points, I thought our kids did a good job of getting to the right spots. They just couldn’t make the tackle,” Conn said.
Incline got on the board with 2:07 remaining in the second quarter on a 10-yard run by senior Tanner Quenneville, who filled in at quarterback after starter Kelsey Philpott suffered a season-ending head injury against Yerington.
The touchdown capped a nine-play, 60-yard drive that included positive rushes by Quenneville, Owen Graffis and Michael Guymon.
Aside from that scoring drive, the Highlanders struggled to move the ball against the Mustangs’ athletic, hard-hitting defense. Incline was forced to punt on its first four possessions, the last of which ended with a botched long snap that set up Pershing County at the Incline 1-yard line.
Nester wasted little time scoring his two touchdowns. He ended Pershing County’s first drive with a 7-yard TD run and scored on a 70-yard run on the Mustangs’ next offensive play. Both two-point conversions were successful as the Mustangs took a 16-0 lead with 4:20 left in the first quarter.
Senior Tim Rhodes extended the lead to 24-0 with a 1-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, and Ty Arnett found the end zone on a 10-yard run about a minute later.
Quenneville’s TD cut the lead to 32-7. But the Mustangs scored two more times before the half, on a 47-yard pass play from quarterback Angel Ramirez to William Gattrell, and a 50-yard interception return by Tad Milich. Ramirez finished 4-of-5 for 99 yards, with one touchdown and one interception — by Quenneville early in the second quarter.
Ethan Rhodes scored Pershing County’s final touchdown in the third quarter.
“We’re obviously disappointed with the outcome, but we’re hoping that this week off will help us lick our wounds and recover,” said Conn, referring to Incline’s bye week before returning to action at West Wendover (1-2 league) on Oct. 16.
Conn complimented the play of Quenneville, who had not played quarterback before Friday’s game, as well as Graffis, who ran the ball hard from start to finish.
The loss dropped Incline to 0-2 in the Northern Division III and 3-3 overall. Pershing County improved to 2-0 in league and 4-2 overall.