Muckers can’t keep Wolves at bay
BY MIKE HOUSER
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
VIRGINIA CITY ” Coleville coach Will Sandy was matter-of-fact when he commented on the Wolves’ victory over the Virginia City Muckers on Saturday.
“We did pretty good,” Sandy said with a smile. “We were down a receiver (Emmi Sandoval). We struggled a little. We still did a pretty good job.”
All things considered? Uh, yeah. Even though it’s impossible not to miss a receiver who has 1,248 yards and 17 touchdowns ” that would be Sandoval ” and in spite of scoring eight points less than their season average, Coleville managed to pull out a 60-14 victory over the Muckers at Virginia City High School.
Coleville improved to 7-1 in league play and 8-1 overall in staying on track in its assault on the NIAA record book. Even though one of its victories came via forfeit to Pyramid Lake to open the season, Coleville now has now scored 536 points, 48 points shy of the eight-man mark of 584, set by Eureka in 1997 over 11 games.
The record for all schools affiliated with the NIAA is 696 by Bishop Manogue. The Miners set the mark over 12 games in 2003.
Neither record is out of reach for Coleville, which has clinched second place in the Northern 1A division behind Carlin, which outran the Wolves 92-44 in Week 4.
Coleville put up 96 points in a win over Smith Valley last week and on Nov. 8 will begin postseason play against Wells, a team it beat 54-18 in their first meeting.
“I tell the boys it’s a whole different season,” Sandy said. “We’re not real physical. Our defense worries me as we go deeper and deeper in the season. We score points on most teams, but we have trouble stopping them. That’s been our Achilles’ heel.”
That wasn’t the case against the Muckers, who picked up 251 yards offensively (Coleville had 455) and managed only two touchdowns ” one on a 35-yard run by Jose Martinez in the first quarter and the other on a 1-yarder by quarterback Zach Shell in the fourth.
There was one particular Wolf the Muckers had trouble keeping at bay: junior quarterback Jason Peters, who picked up 398 total yards. He completed 15-of-29 passes for 284 yards and three TDs and picked up 114 yards on 17 carries for another four touchdowns.
The 6-foot-2, 198-pound Peters leads the (eight-man) nation with 2,555 yards on 146-of-229 passing. He has thrown 40 touchdowns and only five interceptions, including one against the Muckers.
“He’s a big strong boy,” Sandy of Peters, who went to three summer camps this season and has started since he was a freshman. “He’s worked real hard to become quarterback.”
Sandy said Peters was named Coleville’s Athlete of the Year as a sophomore and, in addition to playing basketball and baseball for the Wolves, carries a 4.0 grade point average.
Sandy said Peters is hoping to play college football, but Sandy said, “It’s hard to get recognized at a little bitty school in 1A. He’s realistic, but he just wants a chance.”
Muckers coach Ron Presley said there were no surprises on Saturday.
“We knew that was the case, he’s the top-rated passer in the nation,” Presley said of Peters. “What can you say. The kid’s great. If he’s not passing, he’s running. He’s a one-man team. He’s a handful.
“The bad part about it is they’ve got good receivers. When you cover them, there’s nobody to tackle him when he takes off. They’re a pretty balanced team.”
Colton Ward led the Wolves with 109 yards on seven receptions and scored two touchdowns. Shane Parker added a touchdown on a 63-yard pass in the third quarter to give Coleville a 52-6 lead.
Will Goode added a 1-yard TD to round out the Wolves’ scoring in the third quarter.
Under the direction of Sandy ” in his 18th season as head coach ” the Wolves are in a period of resurgence. This is the second year they’ve made the postseason after going through a 14-year drought.
As for the Muckers, who are now 1-6 in league and 1-8 overall, they will close the season at McDermitt on Friday.
“I thought we played well. We started out strong, but we couldn’t maintain it,” Presley said. “That’s characteristic of a young team. They’ll learn. I have faith in that.”
The Muckers, in their second year back as a football team since 1943, will also mature.
They graduate only five seniors this year, one of which was injured all season.
“We have one more game, then it’s back in the weight room and go after it next year,” Presley said. “We’ve got to get stronger and faster. That’s what you do when you try to build a program. You just keep working at it.
“We want to go out with a win. We just have to step up and play.”
– Contact Mike Houser at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1214