SPARKS — Senior running back Tre Bussey ran for 169 yards on 21 carries and Reed beat Reno 28-14 in a Northern 4A showdown pitting the only two teams to beat the Carson Senators this season.
“It was huge to get this win against Reno,” Bussey said. “Reno came in big. They just hit, hit, hit. We came back and hit, hit, hit harder. And that’s just how it went.“
The game might have been closer if the Huskies had held onto the ball on two particular turnovers.
The biggest turnover occurred with 7 minutes left in the game when Reno quarterback Brandon Kaho fumbled near the goal line and Reed recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback.
“We were right where we needed to be,” Reno head coach Dan Avansino said. “There was a 14-point swing there in the fourth quarter. We were in the end zone. That would have made it a one score game…and that really was, I hate to say, ‘the difference,’ but that really was a big play.“
Reed’s eventual wining score occurred on a fumble of its own near the goal line — only the Raiders recovered its miscue.
After long runs of 34 yards, 10 and 19 on Reed’s first possession of the fourth quarter, Bussey ran 13 yards, but fumbled just short of the end zone.
Even on Bussey’s rare mistake, Reed receiver Robert Ferrel was there to jump on the ball in the back of the end zone for a touchdown to put the Raiders up for good 21-7 with 10 minutes, 27 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
“Somebody said the ball bounced our way,” Reed head coach Ernie Howren said. “No. Those guys made those opportunities happen.“
Kaho, Reno’s 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior, performed well in the first half, but broke out for a big second half as the Huskies went to him on a variety of quarterback sweeps and even had him throwing the ball more than they have in recent weeks.
“We put a lot on Brandon Kaho’s plate, maybe too much,” Avansino said. “He played a little tight and nervous early. But there was a big difference in the second half. He was loose and running hard.”
Another Reno (6-1) miscue, earlier in the game, helped pad the lead for the Raiders going into the halftime break.
With 1 minute, 27 seconds left in the first half, Kaho threw a short pass in the middle of the field that was tipped by a Huskie receiver and into the hands of Reed defender Caleb Ariaz for an interception.
Reed (6-1) didn’t waste the opportunity to go up two scores before halftime. Raiders quarterback Cameron Emerson capped a quick drive with a 19-yard touchdown run with 40 seconds left in the first half.
Both teams opened the first quarter with possessions driving into opponent territory, but it wasn’t until midway through the second quarter when Reed first found its form.
Emerson’s 18-yard run along the left side of the field — after he made two defenders miss in the backfield — moved the Raiders to Reno’s 5-yard line. Three plays later, Bussey plunged into the end zone for a 2-yard run, his lone touchdown of the game.