Cubs use dominant second half to ground Eagles

Joe Randleman
Cubs use dominant second half to ground Eagles

SAYDEL - A dominant display in the second half carried the Nevada football team to a decisive 41-14 non-district victory over Saydel Friday at Saydel.

The Cubs outscored the Eagles 28-0 over the final two quarters to erase a 14-13 halftime deficit and improve to 2-0 on the season.

“I thought our guys did a great job handling the ups and downs of the game,” Nevada head coach Kody Asmus said. “There was a five-minute spurt there in the second quarter where it got a bit rocky, but we battled back. I loved our effort and overall focus in the second half.”

Brendan Sellberg turned the game in Nevada’s favor immediately in the second half by returning the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. He followed that with a 32-yard touchdown reception later in the quarter to put the Cubs up 27-14.

In the fourth quarter, Peyton Sharp broke loose on a 35-yard touchdown run and Macade Matuska found Bennett Thompson for a 47-yard touchdown pass. That was more than enough cushion for a dominant Cub defense that held Saydel to 133 total yards, totaled four sacks and recovered three fumbles.

“I thought our defense played outstanding, especially our defensive line” Asmus said. “They controlled the line of scrimmage and made it hard for Saydel to get anything going.”

Simon Saunders had five tackles and two sacks to lead Nevada’s dominant defensive effort. Linebacker Alex Peebles recorded five tackles and one sack, Bernardo Pantoja had two tackles and one sack and Chris Dobernecker delivered two tackles and a fumble recovery.

Salvador Garcia and Jace Zook each picked up five tackles, Lane Hillock made four stops and Sharp and Carter Bremer each recovered a fumble for the Cubs.

Sellberg was a one-man wrecking crew for Nevada on offense.

Sellberg scored the Cubs’ first four touchdowns. In addition to his two third-quarter scores, Sellberg ran one in from 11 yards and hauled in a big 90-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. For the game he finished with two catches for 122 yards and two scores, two runs for 13 yards and a 20-yard punt return to go along with his kickoff return for a touchdown.

“Brendan was a man amongst boys tonight,” Asmus said. “Anytime you have a player that is able to score a touchdown running the ball, receiving the ball and on a kickoff, you know it is a special night. His kickoff return to start the second half set the tone for the final 24 minutes.”

Matuska completed 6 of 13 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. He also ran for 17 yards on four carries.

“Macade also played well,” Asmus said. “When you take into account that Nevada as a team last year only threw one touchdown pass the entire season, it is nice to see us improving in that area.”

A.J. Strottman ran for 95 yards on 14 carries, Sharp finished with 48 yards rushing on four attempts, Thompson had the one 47-yard touchdown reception and Luke Merfeld made two catches for 21 yards.

Nevada’s one blemish on offense was its inability to take care of the ball. The Cubs lost five fumbles on the night.

“First and foremost, we need to do a better job of protecting the football,” Asmus said. “There usually isn’t a correlation between five lost fumbles and winning a football game.”

Saydel dropped to 1-1 with the loss. Rece Martin had two catches for 36 yards and a touchdown, Kyus Shineflew ran for 16 yards and a touchdown and T.J. Stephenson completed 8 of 15 passes for 98 yards with no interceptions for the Eagles.

Nevada opens Class 3A District 6 competition this Friday versus Bondurant-Farrar (1-1).

“Next week will be a good test with Bondurant-Farrar coming to town,” Asmus said. “We are hoping for a great environment and crowd from our fans. We need to have an outstanding week of practice and hope to put a competitive product on the field Friday night. We have a lot to clean up and that is on us as coaches to make the necessary corrections. We are excited to see where we stack up with one of the top teams in the district.”

The Cubs’ game with Bondurant-Farrar takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Cub Stadium in Nevada.

Nevada 41, Saydel 14

N 13 0 14 14 - 41

S 0 14 0 0 - 14

Scoring

First quarter

N - Brendan Sellberg 11 run (Luke Fevold kick)

N - Sellberg 90 pass from Macade Matuska (kick failed)

Second quarter

S - Rece Martin 10 pass from T.J. Stephenson (Oliver Rosengreen kick)

S - Kyus Shineflew 5 run (Rosengreen kick)

Third quarter

N - Sellberg 80 kickoff return (Fevold kick)

N - Sellberg 32 pass from Matuska (Fevold kick)

Fourth quarter

N - Peyton Sharp 35 run (Fevold kick)

N - Bennett Thompson 47 pass from Matuska (Fevold kick)

Team statistics N S

First downs 15 8

Rushes-yards 25-178 35-35

Passing 6-13-1 8-15-0

Passing yards 184 98

Total yards 362 133

Fumbles-lost 5-5 3-3

Punts-average 2-13.0 8-45.1

Penalties-yards 11-93 13-110

Individual statistics

Rushing: N - A.J. Strottman 14-95, Peyton Sharp 4-48, Macade Matuska 4-17, Brendan Sellberg 2-13, Jack West 1-5. S - Devin Walker 8-18, Dylan Coffin 8-17, Kyus Shineflew 6-16, T.J. Stephenson 13-(-16).

Passing: N - Matuska 6-13-1-184. S - Stephenson 8-15-0-98.

Receiving: N - Sellberg 2-122, Bennett Thompson 1-47, Luke Merfeld 2-21, Sharp 1-(-6). S - Martin 2-36, Andrew Smith 1-27, Coffin 3-25, Shineflew 1-6, Jacob Philipsen 1-4.

Tackles: N - Salvador Garcia 5, Alex Peebles 5, Simon Saunders 5, Jace Zook 5, Lane Hillock 4. S - Philipsen 6, Trevor Sprague 5, Ceejay Bolich 3.5.

Fumble recoveries: N - Sharp, Chris Dobernecker, Carter Bremer.

Sacks: N - Saunders 2, Peebles, Bernardo Pantoja.