Dayton faces must-win against Elko today |

Dayton faces must-win against Elko today

Darrell Moody

Win or go home part 3.

That’s what Dayton High’s football team is facing when it visits the Elko Indians in a key Division 1A match-up.

Dayton enters the game at 3-3 in league play, two games behind Lowry, Elko and Fernley with three games left in the regular season, including tonight’s game. A loss would more than likely eliminate the Dust Devils from post-season play. The top four teams advance to the regional playoffs.

Even if Dayton wins its remaining three games, there is no guarantee that will land the Dust Devils in the playoffs, especially since Lowry, Fallon and Spring Creek have the hammer on Dayton. Dayton closes the season with a home game against Fernley.

It’s certainly nothing new for coach Rob Turner’s squad, which is coming off wins over South Tahoe and Wooster after starting the league season 1-3 following losses to Spring Creek, Lowry and Fallon.

Dayton will be facing an Elko team which slammed South Tahoe, 57-19, behind the running of David Jackson, who rushed for four touchdowns and 175 yards.

All four scores came in the first half. Elko likes to keep the ball on the ground and eat up the clock. Jared Pawlik also rushed for more than 100 yards last week against South Tahoe. As a team, Elko ran for more than 400 yards against the Vikes.

Connor Altenburg was 4-for-6 passing for 125 yards for Elko.

The Dayton defense led by Jesus Castaneda, Austin Fletcher, Julio Meza, Skyler Berntson and Josh Koch will have its hands full stopping the ground attack of the Indians.

Dayton is coming off an impressive 44-29 win over Wooster, which saw Fletcher rush for 269 yards and inch ever closer to the school rushing record. Fletcher needs to gain 203 yards in the next three games to break Eric Hopper’s record of 1,348 yards set in 2005. He certainly could do it tonight if he gets his hands on the ball enough.

Meza is also coming off a game that saw him catch three passes for 60 yards and two scores. He also picked off one pass.