Lions show balance in win over Warriors | NevadaAppeal.com

Lions show balance in win over Warriors

Dave Price

ZEPHYR COVE – Six different players got into the end zone for Yerington High School in its 49-7 Northern 2A football victory against Whittell on Saturday afternoon.

Josh Inserra scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, the second coming on a 68-yard punt return, to lead a balanced attack that helped Yerington (3-1 league, 3-3 overall) end a two-game losing streak and spoil Whittell’s homecoming in the process. Matt Richardson scored on a quarterback sneak, Ricky Menesini had a 37-yard touchdown run, Kyle Johnson had a 46-yard touchdown run on the opening play of the second half, Tony Edwards scored on a three-yard run and Andrew Rempp returned an interception 45 yards for the final touchdown with 9.1 seconds remaining.

“Probably our biggest asset today was having six kids score touchdowns,” Yerington coach Cody Neville said. “Just knowing those kids have the potential to score is big. Misdirection is the key to our (Fly-wing) offense, but it doesn’t work so great if you can only do one thing.”

Yerington rushed for 329 yards as a team – averaging 6.3 yards on 52 carries – behind a good-sized offensive line that includes Ryan Gilmore (6-5, 225), Bobby Sanchez (6-3, 210), Russell Pinkerton (5-10, 230) and center Jesse Halterman (6-2, 270). Running-wise, the Lions were led by Menesini with 82 yards on eight carries, all in the first half. Edwards came off the bench at the end of the third quarter and rushed for 55 yards on nine carries, while Johnson rushed for 54 yards on three carries.

“Tony Edwards is our backup fullback and this is the best game he’s ever experienced,” Neville said of the 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior. “Today was a good opportunity for our second string kids to show what they can do.”

Inserra played a solid all-around game as he rushed for 34 yards on five carries, intercepted a pass on defense, scored on a punt return, was a perfect seven-for-seven in PAT kick attempts and punted four times for a 33.5-yard average. Inserra also had a key 18-yard pass reception on a third-and-10 play during Yerington’s opening possession of the game, and then the senior wingback capped off the drive with his five-yard touchdown run.

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The game was obviously welcomed by the Lions, who had lost to Lovelock and Dayton by a combined 94-14 score the last two weeks. On the other hand, Whittell (0-4 in league and overall) is a program still rebuilding after the school was unable to put a team on the field in 2003.

“It’s tough. We’re frustrated right now because more than half of these kids have never played football before,” first-year Whittell head coach Dennis Young said. “But we’re improving. The kids tried and they didn’t quit. Yerington was just bigger and stronger; they did a good job.”

Whittell’s junior quarterback Jeff Young completed nine of 22 passes for 118 yards, although he was intercepted twice. Senior tailback Chris Anton caught seven passes for 82 yards.

“The quarterback (Young) is a tough kid, he throws the ball on a rope and he’s a pretty good kicker, too. He’s just a good all-around athlete,” Neville said. “And No. 41 (Anton) is a good player – he’s quick and he’s elusive.”

Young completed three straight passes – one was caught by Chris Humbird and two by Anton, covering 52 yards – to ignite a drive in which the Warriors moved to Yerington’s 1 early in the second quarter. The Warriors lost five yards to the 6 on an illegal formation penalty, then on the next play, Rempp recovered a fumble to end the threat.

Yerington went three-and-out on the next series and an 11-yard punt gave the ball back to Whittell at the 16. This time, the Warriors cashed in when Anton scored on a third down run from the 2.

The Lions answered with a four-play, 64-yard scoring drive. Menesini ran for nine- and 14-yard gains to start the drive, then the 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior powered inside for a 37-yard touchdown run.

Yerington had one other scoring opportunity at the end of the first half thwarted when Inserra’s 28-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Whittell defensive end Tommy Esquivel.

Contact Dave Price at dprice@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-1220.