It was not unexpected.
The Pershing County High School football team traveled to Grass Valley, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 6, to face the Bear River Bruins.
The Bruins blanked Pershing (59-0).
The Mustangs have lost only three games in the past two years. Each loss played out on J. David Ramsey Stadium against the Bruins.
“We know they’re going to be a challenge going in,” said Brooks. “That’s why we play them — to help us improve by playing a bigger, better team.”
Even after last year’s blowout (49-0), the Mustangs came home and earned their three-peat.
The boys in red and white remain the defending 2A champs times three.
“The Bruins are well-coached,” added Brooks.
Chris Wise kicks off his 18th season as head coach for the Bear River boys. The Bear River High School grad has a 101-90 record and three state titles.
Before kickoff, the Ramsey Stadium crowd observed a moment of silence.
Sadly, their friend and neighbor, Paul Scott, 42, died unexpectedly just days before. Many wore tee shirts support of his family.
But the mood was far from somber. Bear River packed the bleachers. The cheerleaders stunted and the high school band played fight songs. Mascots in bear suits waved and posed for photos.
“We enjoy the energy Bear River brings to the games,” said Brooks.
On the field, the Bruins squashed every Mustang effort to advance to the end zone. They held Pershing to 100 yards rushing on 37 attempts, and 38 airborne yards.
With the loss, Pershing County stands at 1-1, overall, and 1-0 in the 2A Northern League.
But the bus ride back to Mustang territory felt almost celebratory. Coach Brooks sees reasons for optimism.
“Offensively, Raul Rincon and Sebastien Donaldson showed improvement,” said Brooks. “Jessy Gonzalez made some nice moves offensively and defensively. Caleb Nolf gets better every week and is playing well for us defensively.”
Donaldson summed up his teammate’s thoughts.
“Bear River was a good game for us to play,” he said. “In the long run, it helps to play a team like that. We cleaned up our game and played better than we did against Wendover, but Bear River is just a really good team.”
There’s a lot of season ahead for the Mustangs. They play seven more regular season games, four on their home turf.
“Right now, we look forward to getting our bye week as we prepare for the rest of league play,” said the coach.
The JV teams opened the action on Ramsey Stadium. The Bruins shut down the Mustangs 42-0.
Dan and Logan Murphy coach Pershing JV along with Jared Jensen.
“The Mustangs are pretty young along the offensive and defensive line, but our backfield showed some promise, and we’ll continue to improve as the season progresses,” said Dan Murphy.
The JV Mustangs are gunning for their first win. A touchdown or two wouldn’t hurt. Soon, they’ll have another opportunity.
On Friday, Sept. 20, Pershing meets White Pine’s Bobcats on Joe Yanni Field. JV opens at 4:30. Varsity follows at 7 p.m.
Right now, the varsity Bobcats stand at 1-1, overall. They lost their season-opener to Layton Christian Academy (25-14) on Aug. 23 in the White Pine High School Stadium.
On Sept. 6 they stayed home and blanked Coral Academy (53-0).
A week before facing Pershing the Bobcats travel to West Wendover to play the Wolverines (0-2). It’s football season again in Pershing County.