NEVADA - For one half Nevada looked like a playoff team against a powerful Carlisle squad in the Class 3A District 6 football opener for the two unbeaten teams Friday at Cub Stadium.


Nevada went toe-to-toe for two quarters with the offensive juggernaut Wildcat squad that was averaging 50 points entering the game. But in the second half, Carlisle began to physically overpower Nevada and the Cubs were also hurt by mistakes in a 56-34 setback.


“That was a very good football team that we lost to,” Nevada head football coach Andrew Kleeman said. “We did a lot of good things. But we have a lot to improve on. We got out-physicaled.”


In the first half Carlisle did a great job mixing in the power running game of fullback Kacyn Pickering and quarterback Max Goodhue, along with the big-play ability of receiver returner Cole Henderson to keep Nevada off balance. But the Cubs countered with several big plays of their own.


Jakob Strottman found the end zone on runs of 11 and 59 yards and Cam Shill threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Brendan Sellberg and 26-yard scoring strike to tight end Jack Higgins. The scoring pass to Higgins pulled Nevada within 35-27 in the final minute of the first half.


“We felt good about the game plan coming in,” Kleeman said. “The kids executed some of that really well.”


But mistakes derailed Nevada’s momentum in the second half. A bad snap in each of Nevada’s first two drives of the second half killed Cub drives and subsequently resulted in scoring opportunities for Carlisle.


Touchdown runs from Pickering and Goodhue increased Carlisle’s lead to 49-27. Pickering then iced the game on another Cub miscue, returning an interception 32 yards to pay dirt with 5:09 to go in the third.


“We can’t have mental errors against good football teams,” Kleeman said.


Nevada gave up 483 yards, including 391 on the ground, falling to 2-1 overall and starting 0-1 in the district. But the Cubs also racked up 422 yards of their own.


The strong offensive outing provides Nevada with something to build on going forward. But the Cubs don’t want to rest on moral victories.


“Our kids expect to win every football game,” Kleeman said. “We stress that constantly throughout practice and throughout the week. We have to start believing we can win these types of games and we believe we have the kids to get it done.”


Strottman ran for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Sellberg ran for 103 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, to go along with his long touchdown reception in the first half.


Shill threw for 167 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Higgins made two grabs for 62 yards and Om’Unique Wilkerson added 55 yards receiving on two catches.


Jack West led Nevada defensively with eight tackles and a fumble recovery. Preston Cattanach tacked on seven stops and Sam Abraham 6.5 plus a fumble recovery.


Goodhue completed 5 of 6 passes for 92 yards and one touchdown and he ran for three scores, helping Carlisle improve to 3-0 overall. Pickering ran for 122 yards and Henderson made four grabs for 89 yards and one score and also returned two punts for 70 yards.


Carlisle next hosts three-time defending 3A state champion Pella. For Nevada, it’ll be a road trip against Knoxville.


“I told the kids — everything we want to accomplish is still in front of us,” Kleeman said. “We still have a good football team. One game doesn’t define a season.”


The Cubs’ game with Knoxville will take place at 7:30 p.m. next Friday in Konxville.


Carlisle 56, Nevada 34


C 14 21 21 0 - 56


N 14 13 0 7 - 34


Scoring


First quarter


C - Cole Henderson 39 pass from Max Goodhue (Garrett Pienkowski kick), 8:00.


N - Jakob Strottman 11 run (Jack Cahill kick), 6:13.


C - Goodhue 1 run (Pienkowski kick), 4:58.


N - Brendan Sellberg 51 pass from Cam Shill (Cahill kick), 3:28.


Second quarter


C - Tegan Wyckoff 3 run (Pienkowski kick), 11:42.


C - Goodhue 1 run (Pienkowski kick), 7:03.


N - Strottman 59 run (Cahill kick), 6:31.


C - Conner Smith 4 run (Pienkowski kick), 1:24.


N - Jack Higgins 26 pass from Shill (kick blocked), 0:35.


Third quarter


C - Kacyn Pickering 24 run (Pienkowski kick), 9:45.


C - Goodhue 6 run (Pienkowski kick), 6:00.


C - Pickering 32 interception return (Pienkowski kick), 5:09.


Fourth quarter


N - Sellberg 65 run (Parker Walden kick), 2:42.


Team statistics C N


First downs 25 16


Rushes-yards 56-391 33-255


Passing 5-6-0 6-19-1


Passing yards 92 167


Total yards 483 422


Fumbles-lost 3-3 1-1


Punts-average 1-33.0 4-23.8


Penalties-yards 4-41 2-17


Individual statistics


Rushing: C - Kacyn Pickering 14-122, Max Goodhue 12-83, Grady Laughlin 6-65, Conner Smith 10-42, Tegan Wyckoff 5-41, Bryce Murray 3-16, Max Guard 4-15, Joey Donovan 2-7. N - Jakob Strottman 21-133, Brendan Sellberg 9-103, Trent Stahl 1-8, Cam Shill 5-5, Masen Hapes 1-3, Om’Unique Wilkerson 1-3.


Passing: C - Goodhue 5-6-0-92. N - Shill 6-19-1-167.


Receiving: Cole Henderson 4-89, Brett Pierce 1-3. N - Jack Higgins 2-62, Wilkerson 2-55, Sellberg 1-51, Strottman 1-(-1).


Tackles: C - Kallen Glawe 6.5, Nate Ramirez 5, Pickering 4.5, Ethan Reed 4.5, William Voboril 4.5. N - Jack West 8, Preston Cattanach 7, Sam Abraham 6.5, Higgins 6, Matt Chitty 6, Strottman 5.5, Stahl 5, Andrew Saunders 5.


Sacks: C - Ramirez, Voboril.


Fumble recoveries: C - Henderson. N - Abraham, Strottman, West.


Interceptions: C - Pickering.