The Lowry High School football team started the Northern 3A season on the road last Friday night and returned with a resounding 25-7 victory over the Sparks Railroaders for its second win of the year and first in league play.
“The kids came out a little slow and sluggish in the first half,” LHS coach Taua Cabatbat said. “We were chewing up some yardage and getting some big gains, putting some drives together. We just could not finish in the red zone. We did some good things, but in the second half they turned it on and competed and finished.”
Lowry had a number of chances to score in the first half. The Buckaroos had the ball inside the Railroaders' 15-yard line three times in the first half but could not produce any points.
Lowry was at the 1-yard line in the first quarter, but a bad snap on third down moved the ball back to the 20-yard line. On the next play, Chance Huitt connected with Cole Jones in the end zone but Jones was out of bounds and the Buckaroos turned the ball over on downs.
Lowry was in the red zone twice in the second quarter, but once again could not score points. The third attempt saw a missed field goal.
“In the second half we stepped up, finished drives and competed on both sides of the ball,” Cabatbat said. “I was confident in what we were doing. No big adjustments were needed at halftime. We just need to execute and finish. We had some turnovers, and they scored first in the second half, but we marched back down and scored. It was one of those games where I don’t think that we played to our full potential, but we played well enough to get by. I am happy with the way that we performed. It was not as clean as I would like it to be, but in week two they showed that they have enough resilience to keep fighting and do what I know that they are capable of doing.”
After a Railroader touchdown in the third quarter to take a 7-0 lead, Lowry put on an impressive defensive show to hold them scoreless for the rest of the contest.
Three minutes after Sparks' touchdown, Huitt took a ball in from the 3-yard line to cut the deficit to 7-6 after the missed extra point with 5:16 left in the third quarter.
The momentum shifter came a minute later, as Tyler Neu returned an interception 50 yards two plays later to the house to give the Buckaroos their first lead of the night at 13-7. Lowry did not trail again.
Huitt made it 19-7 Lowry with his second rushing touchdown of the night, this time from two yards out.
Anthony Peterson capped off the scoring with a 26 yard rushing touchdown with just a minute to play.
“Our offense did well last week in Pahrump,” Cabatbat said. “They put up points when we needed them, and in Sparks out defense held tough. That is kind of what football is all about, helping each other out. Anthony had a great night running with the ball. Tyler had that big pick six and Gratian (Dawson) had a pick also.”
Lowry High School student Allie Hummel made the trip to Sparks from Winnemucca for the game
“I am here tonight to support our football team and watch my friends play," she said. "I like offense because it is cool. Go Bucks.”
Lowry makes its home debut on Friday night against Spring Creek.
Spring Creek is coming off a 34-28 loss to Churchill County (Fallon). Churchill County is the defending 3A state champion.
“We have a hard one this week," Cabatbat said. "We have to go back to the drawing board and prepare and get these kids ready to defend their home field. We have got two tough games coming up here at home. If we can prepare right, we can come out with a “W”.
Lowry is back home on Friday, Sept. 13, to play Fernley. Fernley beat Truckee 41-14 this past Friday.
The Buckaroos make a quick trip to Truckee on Sept. 20, followed by the re-scheduled homecoming game against North Valleys on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. due to Dayton cancelling its varsity football season.
South Tahoe hosts the Buckaroos on Oct. 4, and the boys get a week off before going to Elko on Oct. 18. Lowry will finish up the regular season at home against Churchill County on Oct. 24.
“We have been playing lights out right now, even though we have not reached our full potential,” Cabatbat concluded. “I am kind of excited; when we hit stride it might be something fun to watch.”