DAYTON - Dylan Bloyed was the name that rolled off the tongue of nearly every Dayton Dust Devil football player this week. But by Friday, his name was buried deep under a new word.
"This was revenge," Dayton running back Kyle Onstott. "It's a great feeling to win too. They're a great 2A school, that's for sure. But we took it to them tonight. We had a couple bad plays, but made up for it."
The Dust Devils appear to be headed toward a major turnaround after dropping Pershing County 20-12 Friday night at Dayton High School. They held the Mustangs (0-2) to 329 offensive yards while containing Bloyed, a two-dimensional threat at quarterback, for 256 yards passing and only 59 rushing yards on 19 attempts.
The win was a far cry from last year's matchup when Dayton received a 55-15 drubbing from the 2A powerhouse as it rushed for 344 yards. The Dust Devils (2-0) also have nearly reached last years win total of three in just two weeks, which signals that this team has grown a lot since the close of last season.
"If we don't get more than one of them (wins) the rest of the season, I'm going to be a little upset," Walker said. "I mean we have more seniors this year, which is a good thing. I think we have seniors that are trying to lead in the right direction and that's a big thing."
Dayton's defense was star 1A in the game, while star 1B was Onstott.
The defense wore down the smaller and undermanned Mustangs, who are forced to play most of their players on both sides of the ball because they have just 22 varsity players, and even fewer who play regularly.
"We put the defense in such horrible spots," Walker said. "They were resilient as hell. I mean, obviously a lot of those kids are on both sides of the ball, but I was impressed by them. That Bloyed kid is just a freaking stud and to contain him, I think we contained him pretty well."
Most of Bloyed's big plays on the night were on broken plays, where the defense forced him outside and made him uncomfortable.
The two-way play opened the door for Onstott as Walker was able to rely on the 5-foot-8, 145-pound back to carry the load down the stretch. He had just seven carries in the first half, but finished with 25 for 153 yards and two touchdowns. He put up 109 yards in the second half.
"Our line was saying they (the Mustangs) were starting to untoughen up, I guess you could say," said Onstott, who lost to Pershing County last year as member of the junior varsity team. Dayton's JV also picked up a win this time around, 27-16.
Besides Onstott's second half performance, the Dust Devils struggled to build any offensive momentum. They put up just 99 yards by players not named Onstott and went three-and-out in their first three possessions.
The Dust Devils have now knocked off a 4A team (South Tahoe 20-7) and a 2A team, but the real challenge will come in two weeks when they get into 3A play at Sparks on Sept. 18. They won just two league games last season and one was a forfeit. Walker will tell anyone who will listen the team is far off, especially with consistency on the offensive side of the ball, but with two wins already under their belts, the Dust Devils are riding high.
"It's feeling good," Onstott said. "This is my first year on varsity ... we have a lot to improve on, but we're doing pretty good as of right now. It's a start."