Cubs lose district opener, 25-6
GILBERT – A rough night on offense spelled trouble for Nevada against Gilbert Friday in Gilbert as the Cubs’ only score came on defense in a 25-6 loss to the Tigers to open Class 2A District 7 play.
Despite its issues on offense Nevada (1-2, 0-1) only trailed Gilbert (2-1, 1-0) by a 6-0 score at the half and the Cubs were still in the game after three quarters. But Gilbert eventually wore Nevada down in the fourth quarter to hand the Cubs their second-straight loss after a season-opening win over South Tama.
"We played much better defensively than we did (the previous week) against Bondurant-Farrar," Nevada head coach John Pelzer said. "Unfortunately, the offense was anemic at best."
Gilbert’s only touchdown of the first half came on an 8-yard Zach Becker run early in the second quarter. The Tigers missed the extra point and Nevada had a chance to cut its deficit in half just before halftime, but the Cubs came up short on a field goal attempt.
In the third quarter Gilbert went up 12-0 on a 5-yard Becker run, but Nevada answered with a huge defensive play two minutes later. With seven minutes, 30 seconds left in the third quarter Gilbert muffed a punt attempt and Nevada linebacker Patrick Stephenson recovered the ball in the end zone.
That pulled Nevada within 12-6, but the Cubs were unable to convert the ex-
Gilbert regained the game’s momentum late in the third quarter and on the first play of the fourth period Tiger quarterback Jared Gescheidler scored on a 3-yard run to give Gilbert an 18-7 lead.
Nevada continued to struggle moving the ball in the final period. That enabled Gilbert to ice the game on a 1-yard Gescheidler touchdown run with 1:36 left.
"Quite honestly, we were shut out in this game," Pelzer said. "The head official called me (Monday) to explain that they had made a critical error when they ruled that we scored a touchdown on the muffed punt – it should’ve actually been a touchback with Gilbert getting the ball first-and-10 on the 20."
The Cubs only had 201 yards on offense and they turned the ball over twice. Gilbert finished with 367 yards – 311 coming on the ground – and the controversial fumble recovery by Stephenson was the only Tiger turnover.
"We have lost the turnover battle two weeks in a row and that hurts," Pelzer said. "We need to put this behind us and focus on a very tough stretch of games coming up."
Chase Dobson turned in his third-straight 100-yard game on the ground for the Cubs in a losing effort. Dobson ran for 129 yards on 28 carries.
Dayne Sly added 30 yards rushing on eight carries and Brandon Burke ran for 13 yards was 2 of 6 passing for 26 yards with two interceptions. T.J. Fey caught both of Burke’s completions.
Nolan Stahl had 10 tackles, Jake Barker finished with eight plus two stops behind the line and Dobson tallied seven tackles and one sack for Nevada on defense. Stephenson also had eight tackles to go along with his fumble recovery for a touchdown, Riley Huhn made seven stops and Kyle Chaska had four tackles and one sack.
Becker ran for 147 yards on 20 carries and Gescheidler piled up 140 yards rushing on 22 attempts to lead Gilbert. Gescheidler also completed 3 of 10 passes for 56 yards and Chase Whetstone made a 37-yard reception for the Tigers.
Mason Bulman made 11 tackles, Gescheidler totaled eight and Logan Mesenbrink finished with six for Gilbert on defense. Wyatt Rhoads and Dax Hatfield each intercepted a pass for the Tigers.
Nevada faces a monumental challenge this week in its attempt to regroup. The Cubs face defending 2A District 7 champion and fourth-ranked West Marshall (3-0, 1-0).
"We need to be playing better in all phases of the game to be competitive," Pelzer said. "I have a lot of faith in the players and coaches that this will happen."
The Nevada-West Marshall game will take place at Cub Stadium in Nevada. The game is set to start at 7:30 p.m.
Gilbert 25, Nevada 6
N 0 0 6 0 – 6
G 0 6 6 13 – 25
G – Zach Becker 8 run (kick failed), 10:32
G – Becker 5 run (kick failed), 9:22
N – Patrick Stephenson fumble recovery in end zone (kick failed), 7:30
G – Jared Gescheidler 3 run (run failed), 11:57
G – Gescheidler 1 run (James Howell kick), 1:36
Team statistics N G
Rushes-yards 46-175 48-311
Passing 2-6-2 3-10-0
Passing yards 26 56
Total yards 201 367
Fumbles lost 0 1
Punts-average 6-42.2 4-40.0
Rushing: N – Chase Dobson 28-129, Dayne Sly 8-30, Brandon Burke 8-13, Patrick Stephenson 1-5, Riley Huhn 1-(-2). G – Zach Becker 20-147, Jared Gescheidler 22-140, Darin Rinehart 2-11, Ben Hinners 3-10, Wyatt Rhoads 1-3.
Passing: N – Burke 2-6-2-26. G – Gescheidler 3-10-0-56.
Receiving: N – T.J. Fey 2-26. G – Chase Whetstone 1-37, Rhoads 1-11, Dax Hatfield 1-8.
Tackles: N – Nolan Stahl 10, Jake Barker 8, Erik Fevold 8, Stephenson 8, Dobson 7, Huhn 7.
Sacks: N – Dobson, Kyle Chaska.
Fumble recoveries: N – Stephenson.