NEVADA – Untimely turnovers and continued struggles in the red zone haunted the Nevada football team in a 49-20 non-district loss to Collins-Maxwell-Baxter Friday on homecoming night at Cub Stadium.
Nevada gave up three touchdowns of 30 yards or more and CMB was able to turn two Cub miscues into touchdowns, building a 35-7 halftime lead. The Cubs also had problems finishing drives for the fourth straight game, coincidently leading to their fourth loss in succession as they dropped to 1-4 on the season.
CMB punched Nevada in the mouth right off the bat. The Raiders stuffed the Cubs on its first drive, and then they scored two touchdowns in a 27-second span to take a 14-0 lead.
Zach Samson ran in CMB’s first touchdown from 14 yards out, and after a Nevada fumble, he found Kemp on a 38-yard scoring strike with five minutes, 49 seconds left in the first quarter.
Nevada regrouped with an impressive 80-yard drive, capped by a 4-yard Chase Dobson touchdown run on the final play of the first quarter. Erik Fevold added the extra point to get the Cubs within 14-7.
It didn’t take CMB long to respond, however, as Kemp took advantage of his 6-5 frame to snare a 34-yard touchdown off a jump ball just 50 seconds into the second quarter.
The Cubs came back with their second strong, clock-consuming drive and looked poised to get within one touchdown. Strong running from Dobson helped get Nevada down to the CMB 2 yard-line, where the Cubs faced third and goal.
Nevada tried a running play to the near side on third down, but Samson and Clayton Weltha came up and knocked the ball loose. Kemp continued to be a major thorn in the Cubs’ side as he scooped up the ball and raced 92 yards for a touchdown on a back-breaking play for Nevada with 5:32 to go in the second quarter.
"I think the game swung on the fumble return for a touchdown," Nevada head coach John Pelzer said. "It’s my belief that if we punch it in there, it’s a 7-point ball game and we know we can stay with them. Once we went down 21, I believe doubt set in for a number of the players."
Nevada initially responded positively to the adversity. A 37-yard pass from Brandon Burke to Patrick Stephenson helped Nevada get the ball down to the CMB 20, but the Cubs went backwards from there and Erik Fevold missed a field-goal attempt from 41 yards.
CMB took over and marched 80 yards for a touchdown with 1:17 left in the first half. Samson finished the drive with a 13-yard run into the end zone, and with the Raiders leading 35-7 at the half, the final outcome was a formality.
Nevada actually had more total yards than CMB, 402-395, thanks to multiple time-consuming drives. But mistakes and lack of execution in the red zone prevented the Cubs from being able to keep pace with CMB.
"We are still not firing on all cylinders," Pelzer said. "We ran and passed the ball more effectively than we have been lately, but we turned the ball over too many times to win."
Dobson turned in is fifth 100-yard rushing outing in as many games and his second 200-yard effort in a losing cause. He ran the ball 32 times for an impressive 209 yards and two touchdowns as he added an 8-yard scoring jaunt in the fourth quarter.
Fullback Riley Huhn also had a strong game with 78 yards rushing on 11 carries and Burke completed 3 of 6 passes for 62 yards and also picked up 31 yards rushing. T.J. Fey caught two passes for 25 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown reception on the game’s final play, and Stephenson had the one big 37-yard grab.
"Chase had a workhorse night, Riley was a bright spot and the offensive line showed improvement," Pelzer said.
The Cub defense had trouble solving CMB’s balanced, up-tempo attack.
Samson was an efficient 11 of 14 passing for 182 yards and he also ran for a team-high 134 yards on 13 carries in helping CMB improve to 2-3 on the season. Kemp finished with four catches for 91 yards and two scores and Austin Moorman also had a big game receiving for the Raiders with four catches for 73 yards.
"We were unable to make them one dimensional," Pelzer said. "Therefore we struggled."
Traye Pelzer finished with nine tackles, Patrick Stephenson tallied seven plus one tackle for loss, Jake Barker made six stops and Fevold came up with four plus one tackle for loss. Pelzer said Traye and Fevold both had good nights defensively for the Cubs.
After the disappointing showing Pelzer engaged in a long talk with his team after the game. Even with the poor start Nevada is still in a fight for a playoff spot as Class 2A District 7 play resumes this Friday.
"This team needs to come together as one and that has not happened yet," Pelzer said. "With four weeks to go, I hope it happens very soon for all of our sakes."
The return to district play won’t be easy as Nevada faces ninth-ranked North Polk on the road in Alleman. The Comets are coming off their first loss of the season, a 35-14 setback at No. 2 West Marshall.
Friday’s game between the Cubs and Comets is set to start at 7 p.m.
CMB 49, Nevada 20
CMB 14 21 7 7 – 49
N 7 0 0 13 – 20
CMB – Zach Samson 14 run (Joey Nissen kick), 6:16
CMB – Bryce Kemp 38 pass from Samson (Nissen kick), 5:49
N – Chase Dobson 4 run (Erik Fevold kick), 0:00
CMB – Kemp 34 pass from Samson (Nissen kick), 11:10
CMB – Kemp 92 fumble return (Nissen kick), 5:32
CMB – Samson 13 run (Nissen kick), 1:17
CMB – Gabe Schabillion 11 run (Nissen kick), 8:09
N – Dobson 8 run (Fevold kick), 9:17
CMB – Brad Ritter 6 pass from Nate Bishop (Nissen kick), 2:33
N – T.J. Fey 14 pass from Brandon Burke (No Attempt), 0:00
Team statistics CMB N
First downs 16 20
Rushes-yards 20-207 52-340
Passing 12-15-0 3-6-0
Passing yards 188 62
Total yards 395 402
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-2
Punts-average 1-25.0 2-55.0
Penalties-yards 6-60 6-40
Rushing: CMB – Zach Samson 13-134, Gabe Schabillion 9-49, Charles Robertson 4-16, Spencer Gauch 3-7, Nate Bishop 1-5, Brady Stover 1-(-4). N – Chase Dobson 32-209, Riley Huhn 11-78, Brandon Burke 6-31.
Passing: CMB – Samson 11-14-0-182; Nate Bishop 1-1-0-6. N – Burke 3-6-0-62.
Receiving: CMB – Bryce Kemp 4-91, Austin Moorman 4-73, Hunter Gunderson 1-8, Brad Ritter 1-6, Schabillion 1-5, Brady Stover 1-5. N – T.J. Fey 2-25, Patrick Stephenson
Tackles: Nevada – Traye Pelzer 9, Patrick Stephenson 7, Jake Barker 6, Erik Fevold 4, Huhn 4, Aaron McCarville 4.