NEVADA — An awesome defensive performance kept the Nevada football team perfect Friday at Cub Stadium as the Cubs overpowered Perry, 24-7, in their home opener.
Nevada (2-0) gave up one big pass play for a touchdown in the first quarter to spot Perry a 7-0 lead. But from then on, the Cubs were an immovable force, shutting out the Bluejays the rest of the way and limiting them to 258 total yards.
The Cubs have given up a combined total of only 20 points in their first two games. They defeated West Marshall, 14-13, in two overtimes on Aug. 18 at State Center to open the season.
Jack Higgins had eight tackles and a fumble recovery to lead Nevada’s dominant defensive effort. Jack West and Luke Merfeld both had 4.5 tackles and half a sack, Matt Chitty came up with one tackle for loss and half a sack and Sam Abraham finished with 4.5 tackles and one stop behind the line.
Preston Cattanach tacked on 4.5 tackles, Andrew Saunders delivered four tackles and one tackle for loss and Tony Adelmund recovered a fumble.
On offense, Nevada had strong balance and took great care of the football. The Cubs ran for 208 yards and threw for 129 and they didn’t commit a turnover.
Brendan Sellberg caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from Cam Shill to answer Perry’s opening touchdown in the first quarter. The Cubs went up 16-7 at the half after Trent Stahl found the end zone on an 11-yard run and Jack Cahill drilled a 29-yard field goal.
Nevada maintained the nine-point cushion going into the fourth quarter. A 1-yard Shill touchdown run in the fourth quarter closed out the Cub win.
“We earned a great team victory Friday night,” Nevada head football coach Andrew Kleeman said. “Our kids played hard the entire game. We do need to clean up some of the mistakes we made as we move into district play.”
The Cubs prevailed despite picking up nine penalties, totaling 93 yards. Perry was also plagued by mistakes, recording 11 penalties for 83 yards.
Shill completed 10 of 20 passes for 117 yards and Sellberg had five catches for 86 yards and 15 yards rushing. Jakob Strottman went over the century mark on the ground with 108 yards on 24 carries, Stahl added 92 yards on 14 rushes and also caught three passes for 25 yards.
Nevada faces a big test to start Class 3A District 6 play this week. The Cubs host an unbeaten Carlisle (2-0) team that is averaging 50 points.
“We are excited to play a really good team Friday,” Kleeman said. “Our kids will be ready for the challenge.”
The Nevada-Carlisle game starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cub Stadium.
Nevada 24, Perry 7
P 7 0 0 0 - 7
N 7 9 0 8 - 24
P - Reece Dunlap 59 pass from Alex Garrido (German Alvaranga kick).
N - Brendan Sellberg 51 pass from Cam Shill (Jack Cahill kick).
N - Trent Stahl 11 run (kick failed).
N - Cahill 29 FG.
N - Shill 1 run (Sellberg pass from Shill).
Team statistics P N
First downs 12 20
Rushes-yards 31-123 45-208
Passing 11-22-0 11-21-0
Passing yards 135 129
Total yards 258 337
Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0
Punts-average NA 6-40.3
Penalties-yards 11-83 9-93
Rushing: P - Mark Campos 15-76, Alex Garrido 9-53, Donald Chavez 3-8, Reece Dunlap 4-(-14). N - Jakob Strottman 24-108, Trent Stahl 14-92, Brendan Sellberg 5-15, Om’Unique Wilkerson 1-6, Cam Shill 1-1, Preston Cattanach 1-(-1).
Passing: P - Garrido 11-22-0-135. N - Shill 10-20-0-117, Stahl 1-1-0-12.
Receiving: P - Dunlap 5-82, Brandon Kenyon 3-41, Jered Narber 1-12, Drew Levan 1-4, Campos 1-(-4). N - Sellberg 5-86, Stahl 3-25, Strottman 1-11, Jack Higgins 1-8, Wilkerson 1-(-1).
Tackles: P - Campos 12.5, Mana Martinez 8.5, Kaleb Olejniczak 7, Conner Kenyon 6.5, Dunlap. 5. N - Higgins 8, Cattanach 4.5, Sam Abraham 4.5, Luke Merfeld 4.5, Jack West 4.5, Andrew Saunders 4.
Sacks: N - West 0.5, Merfeld 0.5, Chitty 0.5.
Fumble recoveries: N - Higgins, Tony Adelmund.