NEVADA – For one half the Nevada football team put up a good fight against fourth-ranked West Marshall in a Class 2A District 7 affair Friday in Nevada.
The Cubs only trailed the unbeaten Trojans 14-0 through two quarters, thanks to a gritty defensive effort. But in the third quarter West Marshall took control, putting together three scoring drives to hand Nevada a 35-0 loss.
"No offensive production, no kicking game to speak of and we had some drives that could’ve been point-scoring drives that we didn’t capitalize on," Nevada head coach John Pelzer said. "I thought we had a good defensive play, but it was predicated on making some plays in the open field against some good kids. Sometimes we did and sometimes we didn’t. I was proud of the effort, especially in the first half, but we’ve got to continue to improve in all phases of our game."
Nevada (1-3, 0-2) did a good job containing West Marshall’s all-state running back Duncan Ferch in the first half. But Ferch broke the Cubs’ backs in the third quarter.
Ferch ran the ball six times for 41 yards on West Marshall’s opening drive of the second half to set up a 23-yard touchdown pass from Matt Van Metre to Nolan Sinning. Nevada drove down to the West Marshall 36 on its next drive, but the Cubs had to punt.
Chase Dobson did a great job landing his punt inside the five as West Marshall took over on its own 3 yard-line with a little over five minutes left in the third quarter. Then Ferch dropped the hammer on Nevada, taking a sweep to the left side, breaking several Cub tackles and racing 97 yards down the sideline for a touchdown to give the Trojans a 28-0 lead with five minutes, four seconds left.
Nevada was unable to score on its next drive and this time, West Marshall was able to work with a short field after taking over on the Cub 30. Two plays later Devin Chesler found the end zone on a 2-yard run, and after the extra point, West Marshall had a five-touchdown lead with 2:49 remaining in the third.
With West Marshall up 35 the game went to a continuous running clock and the Trojans were never threatened the rest of the way, improving to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the district.
Ferch ended up with 247 of West Marshall’s 401 rushing yards on just 19 carries. Chesler ran for 92 yards on eight carries and Van Metre was 2 of 4 passing for 31 yards.
For Nevada it’s back to the drawing board after suffering its third-consecutive setback. The Cub offense has been anemic during that stretch, accounting for only 18 points.
"Defensively I’ve been pretty pleased the last two weeks, but offensively we have some work to do," Pelzer said. "I was happy with how we moved the ball, but moving between the 20s doesn’t score any points."
Nevada finished with 175 total yards against West Marshall, 165 of which came on the ground. The Cubs had a good opening drive in moving down to the Trojan 17 before missing a field goal and they moved the ball inside the West Marshall 40 on their next drive before being forced to punt.
Dobson topped 100 yards rushing for the fourth time in as many tries, racking up 133 yards on 26 carries. Traye Pelzer ran for 28 yards on two carries – 25 coming on a successful fake punt in the third quarter – and Brandon Burke was 1 of 7 passing for 10 yards with an interception.
Erik Fevold made nine tackles, Aaron McCarville had six, Patrick Stephenson finished with five, Pelzer tallied four and Dobson recovered a fumble for Nevada on defense.
Next up for Nevada is a non-district date with Collins-Maxwell-Baxter. The Raiders feature a high-octane offense led by versatile quarterback Zach Samson and big-play receiver Bryce Kemp.
"It’s good, old homecoming; the game that coaches hate because of the distractions," Pelzer said. "We’re going to have to try and get two good hours a day out of the kids to focus on CMB because they do a lot of things really well. Their identity is that offense and the Oregon Duck philosophy of spread ‘em out and run lots of plays and they have some good athletes. It’s going to be a challenge for our defensive staff to get a plan against them."
The Cub-Raider game is set to start at 7:30 p.m. at Cub Stadium in Nevada.
West Marshall 35, Nevada 0
WM 7 7 21 0 – 35
N 0 0 0 0 – 0
WM – Duncan Ferch 3 run (Rafael Rodriguez kick), 2:53
WM – Daniel Kelley 11 run (Rodriguez kick), 3:08
WM – Nolan Sinning 23 pass from Matt Van Metre (Rodriguez kick), 8:17
WM – Ferch 97 run (Rodriguez kick), 5:04
WM – Devin Chesler 2 run (Rodriguez kick), 2:49
Team statistics WM N
First downs 16 10
Rushes-yards 38-401 45-165
Passing 2-4-0 1-7-1
Passing yards 31 10
Total yards 432 175
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-1
Punts-average – 6-29.8
Penalties-yards 2-10 5-30
Rushing: WM – Duncan Ferch 19-247, Devin Chesler 8-92. N – Chase Dobson 26-133, Traye Pelzer 2-28, Patrick Stephenson 4-6, Brandon Burke 11-0, Dayne Sly 2-(-2).
Passing: WM – Matt Van Metre 2-4-0-31. N – Brandon Burke 1-7-1-10.
Receiving: WM – Nolan Sinning 1-23, Elijah Streeter 1-8. N – Joel Olson 1-10.
Tackles: N – Erik Fevold 9, Aaron McCarville 6, Stephenson 5, Pelzer 4.
Fumble recoveries: N – Dobson.