Fifth-ranked Cubs fall to No. 7 Humboldt, 19-15: Cubs suffer first loss in 3A District 2 showdown
The Nevada football team will likely fall just short of its goal of winning a district championship after suffering its first loss of the season Friday at Humboldt.
The fifth-ranked Cubs dropped a 19-15 defensive battle with to the seventh-ranked Wildcats.
The loss put Nevada at 7-1 on the season and 3-1 in Class 3A District 2. Humboldt improved to 8-0 and 4-0 with one game remaining for both teams on the season.
Even with the loss, the Cubs still have a lot in front of them as they prepare for the playoffs, which start Oct. 29.
"Regardless of the outcome, I'm glad we were in a game like this," Nevada head coach Andrew Kleeman said. "It's only going to make us better."
Here is what we learned from Nevada's tough district loss:
Matson is too much
Humboldt quarterback Caden Matson entered the game with the second-most passing yards in 3A.
Nevada did a great job shutting down Matson in the passing game. He only completed 9 of 19 passes for 117 yards with three interceptions.
But Matson is also one of the best running quarterbacks in the state. Since the Cubs took away his arm, he burned them with his legs.
Matson rushed for 196 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries. That helped the Wildcats pile up 260 rushing yards as a team, the most against Nevada's talented defensive front this season.
"We had some difficulty tackling their quarterback, who is an outstanding player," Kleeman said.
Caleb Kooiker made 10.5 tackles and recovered two fumbles and Seth Brown had 9.5 stops and two interceptions for Nevada on defense. Cael Franzen also had 9.5 tackles, Ty Dittmer had 4.5 stops, one tackle for loss and an interception and Gavin Melohn recovered a fumble.
Cubs can't capitalize on turnovers
Nevada did a tremendous job forcing the Humboldt offense into committing mistakes. In addition to the three interceptions the Cub defense recovered three fumbles to finish with an amazing six forced turnovers on the night.
But the Cubs turned the ball over twice themselves and were limited to just 260 yards of offense.
"We struggled to get any rhythm offensively for most of the game," Kleeman said. "We had some penalties at crucial moments and a couple turnovers that shifted momentum their way."
Even with its offensive struggles Nevada was in the game until the end.
A 1-yard James Edwards touchdown run and successful 2-point conversion put Nevada up 15-12 in the fourth quarter. But Humboldt was able to answer with the winning score later in the quarter when Will Orness caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Matson.
Edwards rushed for 99 yards and two touchdowns and completed 11 of 21 passes for 98 yards with two interceptions. Caden DaSilva made six catches for 65 yards, Colin Memmer made three grabs for 34 and Cason Stevenson ran for 45 on 12 carries.
Cubs close out regular season at home
Nevada gets a chance to bounce back from the loss before the playoffs start. The Cubs host North Polk (3-5, 1-3) this Friday at 7 p.m. at Cub Stadium in Nevada.
"I know our kids will respond well and get ready for another tough opponent this week," Kleeman said.
Humboldt 19, Nevada 15
Nevada 7 0 0 8 — 15
Humboldt 0 6 6 7 — 19
Individual statistical leaders
Rushing: Humboldt — Caden Matson 24-196. Nevada — James Edwards 30-99.
Passing: Humboldt — Matson 9-19-3-117. Nevada — Edwards 11-21-2-98.
Receiving: Humboldt — Will Orness 8-109. Nevada — Caeden DaSilva 6-65.
Tackles: Humboldt — Nolan Lammers 9. Nevada — Caleb Kooiker 10.5.
Fumble recoveries: Nevada — Kooiker 2.
Interceptions: Humboldt — Will Orness 2. Nevada — Seth Brown 2.