DAYTON - The longest bus trip for your first game of the season doesn't sound like a bunch of fun. However, Dayton High football coach Rob Turner doesn't mind it one bit.
"It's the first game and everybody is healthy," Turner said of tonight's (7 p.m.) battle at Spring Creek. "Everybody is healthy. It's a lot better to have it early. We get to get it out of the way."
What kind of Spring Creek team Dayton will see is anybody's guess. The Spartans were decimated by graduation, losing every starter on defense and the bulk of their skill players.
What the Spartans do return is the bulk of their offensive line, including Travis Bodin, Thomas Moore and Zach Freeman, and that's key when you like to run the ball as the Spartans do. Dustin O'Donnell and Anthony Baker got some valuable time and will be counted on to carry a heavier load this year.
"It's probably the strength of our team in terms of numbers," Spring Creek coach Joel Jund told the Elko Daily Free Press recently.
"Year in and year out they are a tough team," Turner said. "They have a top running game, and I'm sure they will give us fits. We'll roll in there and play our game.
"The weaknesses I saw at the scrimmage, I think we've adjusted. The defense is evolving every week. This will be a good test to see where it is."
Turner went from a 4-4 defense to a three-man front this year, and he knows there will be growing pains along the way.
The second-year Dayton coach is hoping for big games from his backfield trio of Taryn Aguilera, Austin Fletcher and Jessie May.
"We're just going to try and pound the ball and control the clock, and keep our defense off the field," Turner said. "We won't be able to do that without our line. They are the heart and soul of our team."
Manogue knocked off Carson, 13-5, Thursday afternoon. The loss dropped Carson to 1-1 in league play after a walkover against North Tahoe.
Three of Carson's five wins came from Katherine Breeding, who won 6-4, 6-0 and 6-3. Ellise McGowan and Greta Sturm won a 7-6 tie-breaker in their second set, while Krista Stocke and Anna Novak won 6-1 in their second set.
Breeding got Carson's only win in the third round.
Carson faces Galena next Tuesday.