Cowboys ride into town to lasso Fallon | NevadaAppeal.com

Cowboys ride into town to lasso Fallon

Mike Sciandra
msciandra@lahontanvalleynews.com

The Chaparral Cowboys are coming to town.

The Cowboys upset the Faith Lutheran Crusaders one week ago — another Las Vegas team that was undefeated in D1-A at 7-0 — 21-20.

Despite the narrow victory, Chaparral coach Paul Nihipali said he is confident in his team as they prepare for their game against the Churchill County Greenwave Saturday at 1p.m.

"Well it'd be nice if we had the game up here," Nihipali said in jest, "because it's a lot cooler up there than it is here. But that's how the schedule is so we're going to head up north on Friday. It's going to be different, because of the weather and the traveling and the weather so we've had to make some adjustments, but everybody's excited. The community is excited, so we're going to go for it."

The Cowboys season were 5-1 in D1-A and 9-2 overall before the playoffs.

Nihipali, when asked about the leaders of his team this season that have gotten them this far, first cited their starting quarterback Andrew Solis, who has passed for more than 1,200 yards.

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"Andrew is one of the players who has improved because of his leadership," Nihipali said, "and because of the position he knows he plays."

Nihipali also credited Cowboys running back Richard Nelson as a staple for the team, a 6-foot-1 203-pound force for their offense who has already received offers from colleges including Montana State.

"(Nelson) has been a great asset to our team on the offensive side," Nihipali said. "When it comes to his running ability, he's got a lot of power on the inside."

"Well it does add that little bit of confidence with our kids knowing that they can play to their best potential, but just watching films we know (Fallon) they're tough kids, that's why they're No. 1 out there. This is the Greenwave, so we have to prepare a lot more as we come into the playoffs because we know the teams are tougher."

Nihipali also said Casey Acosta, the Cowboys' wide receiver, has been a staple for the team this season.

Acosta was responsible for what Nihipali said was the turning point of their game against Faith Lutheran when Acosta returned the kickoff of the second half for a touchdown.

Defensively, the Cowboys' Antwain Allen and Richard Hernandez are the clutch players for Chaparral according to Nihipali.

Allen and Hernandez are a junior and a senior, respectively, who helped shut down the Crusaders' running game.

Throughout the season both have kept opposing teams from gaining yards by running the edges of the field … something the Wave has been known to score by doing in several games.

"Our overall consensus as a team as we started is that we have kids that are very talented and dedicated to the program," Nihipali said. "Our team overall, we have a running game, a passing game, it's just about 50/50 and running a wide-open offense where the kids have excelled this year. Each game that we've played, we've gotten better and better. The teams that we lost to early in the year we met in the playoffs again and the second time around we did beat them in the first round. Our kids are more confident this time around feeling that they have the potential to compete at this level."

Nihipali said that despite the close score, the victory over Faith Lutheran has boosted the confidence of his players as a whole since they were among the teams that the Cowboys had lost to early in the season. He said the boys proved to themselves that they can play against similar teams in Northern Nevada such as the Wave.

This Greenwave team is a very disciplined team," Nihipali said, "so we're going to have to play the best we can on both sides of the ball."

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