Pershing County defeats rival on the road

Pershing County defeats rival on the road

Pershing County defeats rival on the road

The win was up for grabs until the final moments of the game. The Pershing County Mustangs football team played Battle Mountain on Friday. Both squads gave their all. Ultimately, Lovelock won by one point (16-15).

With the win, the Mustangs improved to 5-1, overall, and 3-0 in league play.

Pershing County’s Jayce Leyva started the scoring early on, with a six-yard rushing touchdown. Erick Franco kicked a 25-yard field goal midway through the second quarter. 

The Longhorns could not penetrate Pershing’s defense. The Mustangs led by nine at the half (9-0).

“Our defense was incredible through the first half,” said Pershing QB Derek Sandusky.

But after a halftime huddle on their home field, the Longhorns came back fighting mad. 

“Battle Mountain drove down the field and scored twice,” said Sandusky.

Early in the third quarter Battle Mountain’s Gabe Naveran completed a twelve-yard pass to Reese Artz to light up the Longhorn’s side of the scoreboard. And he wasn’t done yet.

Halfway through the quarter, he threw in a four-yard rushing touchdown. 

After Naveran rushed the two-point conversion, the tables turned. Now the Mustangs trailed behind. Battle Mountain pulled ahead by four points (9-13). 

Dylan Hultenschmidt’s punt coverage hit energized the Mustangs. They had lots of stamina left. They’d need it. Battle Mountain scored 15 points in the third quarter and squashed Lovelock’s offense.

The fourth quarter started with Pershing down by six (15-9). It would be a fight to the finish, a switch for teams used to overwhelming their opponents with lopsided wins.

The rivals shifted into high gear. Both wanted the win badly. But at the buzzer, only one team would walk off the field still undefeated in league play.

“When it came down to the last minutes, we played with heart,” said Sandusky.

With one minute to go, Pershing’s Lane Condie tied up the score at 15 with a three-yard rushing touchdown. Franco delivered on the extra point, bringing the score to 16-15 in Pershing’s favor.

“I’m proud of how we played,” said Sandusky. “I was happy because our community came and supported us through it all. It means a lot to us.

Lovelock parents and fans headed home in good spirits. Football dad Fred Hultenschmidt was among them.

“Games are won in the trenches,” he observed. “Nothing is possible without a great line up front. Davis Murphy, Adrian Suarez, Ty Gentry, Ben and Scott Plimpton, Axle Gonzalez, Jorge Rosas, Hunter Burrows, Sean Gottschalk and Kris Jackson rose to the occasion.”

“What a great team Battle Mountain has become,” added Hultenschmidt. “I hope we meet again in the playoffs.”

“I’m happy for the kids,” added Coach Dave McLean. “They had a great week of practice and worked hard for the win.”

JV climbs over Battle Mountain 

JV bounded back from their bye week with a win (50-18) against the Battle Mountain Longhorns. According to coach Mike Brooks, the Mustangs practiced hard during their hiatus.

“The kids improved immensely,” he said. “This was the best performance our JV has put together all season. We were happy with the offensive production and the defense was able to make key plays.”

Offensively, Cody Zile, Jordan Gentry and Juan Jimenez seized the day. Jimenez had an 83-yard touchdown reception.

Defensively, Ricky Reitz and Guti Lopez continued to anchor the Mustang defense.

“We look forward to playing another tough opponent this week,” said Brooks.

On Friday, Mustangs bring the action back home. The JV plays Incline at 4:30, while the varsity challenges North Tahoe at 7 p.m.

This will be the last regular season home game for the Mustangs. Eleven graduating seniors will play the final home game of their high school careers.

The team will honor Martin Cholico, Lupin Gomez, Lane Condie, Owen Bake, Ben and Scott Plimpton, Hunter Burrows, Ty Gentry, Jorge Rosas, Eric Wagner and Dylan Dragoman at the senior night game.