Fifth-ranked Nevada uses big third quarter to thump Gilbert for big homecoming win, 56-14
For the second week in a row, the No. 5 Nevada football team was slow out of the gate when the Cubs hosted rival Gilbert for homecoming Friday at Cub Stadium in Nevada.
But then ... the Cubs also went on a huge run in the second half for the second straight game to pull off another lopsided victory. Nevada outscored Gilbert 28-0 in the third quarter to blow open a close game, and it coasted to a 56-14 victory.
"We put ourselves in some difficult positions in the first half," Nevada head coach Andrew Kleeman said. "Gilbert did a good job of capitalizing on our mistakes. Then, we came out and executed at a high level in the second half in all three phases. I was happy with how our kids responded to some adversity."
The win put Nevada at 5-0 overall and 1-0 in Class 3A District 2. Gilbert fell to 0-5 and 0-1 respectively.
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Here is what we learned from Nevada's decisive victory:
Nevada owns the line of scrimmage
Nevada outgained Gilbert in rushing yards, 324-35. The Cubs averaged 8.3 yards per rush and held the Tigers to a meager 1.3 per carry.
"Defensively, we played fast for most of the night and had a forced turnover in the second half, which really flipped the momentum of the game," Kleeman said. "Offensively, we continue to run the ball efficiently."
James Edwards ran for 193 yards and two touchdowns and Cason Stevenson 110 yards and three scores for Nevada. Wil Jennings had 35 yards and one touchdown rushing for Gilbert.
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The Cubs also had five sacks on defense. Ty Dittmer had 2.5, Conner Schnettgoecke 1.5 and Matt Sallee one.
Linebacker Cael Franzen and defensive back Caleb Kooiker continued to lead Nevada in tackles with seven and 6.5, respectively. Jake Shedarowich and Bo Gidel both had 4.5 stops for Gilbert.
Gavin Melohn returned a fumble 32-yards for a touchdown. Aidan Thompson also recovered a fumble and Drew Robinson came away with an interception.
Cubs have big-play passing attack
Edwards completed only three passes, but he averaged over 40 yards per completion in finishing with 122 yards and two scores through the air.
Carson Rhodes had a 42-yard touchdown reception, Robinson made a 41-yard scoring grab and Caeden DaSilva tacked on a 40-yard reception for Nevada.
Special teams special for Cubs
Nevada had another big night in the return game.
Robinson and DaSilva both had one big kick return each to set up the Nevada offense with a short field. Robinson's went for 51 yards and DaSilva's 56.
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"Our special teams play continues to put us in good positions," Kleeman said.
Gilbert hangs tough early
Gilbert gave Nevada a great fight in the first half. The Tigers trailed 21-14 at the break.
Spencer Clatt had a 46-yard touchdown reception and three catches for 70 yards in a losing effort for Gilbert. Kautman threw for 99 yards, Shedarowich recovered a fumble and Ben Peterson had an interception.
Nevada travels to Huxley this Friday to take on another big rival in Ballard (2-3) for the Bombers' homecoming game. The Cubs will try to avenge a 28-7 loss to the Bombers during last year's playoffs.
"We're playing a well-coached and talented Ballard team," Kleeman said. "We know we'll have to bring our best effort."
Nevada 56, Gilbert 14
G 7 7 0 0 — 14
N 7 14 28 7 — 56
Individual statistical leaders
Rushing: G — Wil Jennings 18-35. N — James Edwards 20-193.
Passing: G — Owen Kautman 6-16-1-99. N — Edwards 3-5-1-123.
Receiving: G — Spencer Clatt 3-70. N — Carson Rhodes 1-42.
Tackles: G — Bo Gidel 4.5, Jake Shedarowich 4.5. N — Cael Franzen 7.
Sacks: G — Shedarowich 1. N — Ty Dittmer 2.5.
Fumble recoveries: G — Shedarowich 1. N — Gavin Melohn 1, Aidan Thompson 1.
Interceptions: G — Ben Peterson. N — Drew Robinson.