What we learned from No. 5 Nevada's 38-14 victory over Hampton-Dumont-CAL: Cubs are 4-0
The No. 5 (Class 3A) Nevada football team cruised past Hampton-Dumont-CAL, 38-14, Friday at Hampton in its final tune up before Class 3A District 2 play.
Caeden DaSilva and James Edwards had big games on offense and Caleb Kooiker led another stout defensive effort by the Cubs.
The win put Nevada at 4-0 on the season. All four victories have been by at least 23 points.
Here is what we learned from the decisive Cub victory over HDC:
Cubs overcome slow start
Nevada trailed 8-7 at the half. The Cubs dominated the final 24 minutes to break the game open, but they will need more consistency with tough games against Ballard and especially No. 7 Humboldt on the horizon.
"We put ourselves in some difficult situations in the first half due to penalties and a turnover," Nevada head coach Andrew Kleeman said. "They did a good job of capitalizing on our mistakes. We were able to regroup at halftime and we came out and executed well in all phases in the second half."
DaSilva sparks dominant second half
DaSilva provided the lift Nevada needed in the third quarter
The senior receiver caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Edwards and followed up a 22-yard Aidan Freeman field goal with a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown. That gave Nevada a comfortable 24-7 margin heading into the fourth quarter.
DaSilva added a 40-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. He finished the game with six catches for 121 yards.
Special teams were special
Freeman ended the game a perfect 5 of 5 on extra points to go along with his field goal. Carson Rhodes averaged 35 yards on three punts. Throw in DaSilva's big punt return and it was a big night for the Cubs on special teams.
"Our special teams gave us a big lift in the second half," Kleeman said. "That was fun to see."
Cubs have great balance
Nevada finished with exactly 147 yards rushing and 147 passing on the night.
Edwards completed 9 of 17 passes with the two touchdown tosses to DaSilva and he also ran for 65 yards and a touchdown. Cason Stevenson ran for 69 yards and one touchdown.
Defense continues strong play
Nevada didn't force a turnover Friday night. But the Cubs did hold the Bulldogs to just 210 yards, including only 86 through the air.
Caleb Kooiker stepped up with 13 tackles for Nevada, including nine solo stops.
Cael Franzen made 8.5 tackles and one tackle for loss and Karter Beving six tackles and three stops behind the line. Seth Brown and Noah Mills both added five stops, with Mills picking up one behind the line, and Connor Schnettgoecke also chipped in a tackle for loss.
District play begins
Nevada hosts Gilbert (0-4) in a rivalry game for its 3A District 2 opener this Friday at Cub Stadium in Nevada. The Cubs follow that up with another rivalry game at Ballard then host Algona Oct. 8.
Nevada finishes up its schedule with the big game at No. 7 Humboldt Oct. 15 and concludes the season at home versus North Polk.
"We now have a whole new season ahead of us as we start district play," Kleeman said. "We're happy to be 4-0, but we know we're going to have our work cut out for us every Friday night from here on out. We're going to take it one game at a time and are excited to be back at home this week."
Nevada 38, Hampton-Dumont-CAL 14
N 7 0 17 14 — 38
HDC 8 0 0 6 — 14
Individual statistical leaders
Rushing: N — Cason Stevenson 10-69. HDC — Logan Pfeffer 14-79.
Passing: N — James Edwards 9-17-0-147. HDC — Cal Heeren 10-20-0-86.
Receiving: N — Caeden DaSilva 6-121. HDC — Gavin Meader 2-25.
Tackles: N — Caleb Kooiker 13. HDC — Pfeffer 10.
Tackles for loss: N — Karter Beving 3. HDC — Pfeffer, Zayden Johnstone, Scott Carr.
Fumble recoveries: HDC — Karter Janssen.