Yerington and Pershing County in key game |

Yerington and Pershing County in key game

Dave Price

Friday night’s 3A Division II football showdown between Yerington High School and Pershing County started out just like a track meet. It finished more like a 200-yard dash for Pershing County’s Benji Robles.

Robles rushed for 266 yards and four touchdowns and the Mustangs from Lovelock scored on their first four possessions en route to a playoff-clinching 36-14 victory in Yerington’s homecoming contest at Martin Field.

Robles ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, including an 80-yard touchdown dash on Pershing County’s first play from scrimmage, and the Mustangs went on to improve to 4-0 in Division II play (5-1 overall) and knock Yerington out of contention for one of the division’s two berths in the 3A state playoffs in November. First place will be at stake next Saturday when Pershing County visits unbeaten Bishop Manogue in Reno.

The 5-foot-6, 170-pound senior tailback wasn’t taking credit for any of the impressive numbers, however.

“I credit my line,” Robles said. “They do all the work; they work their butts off. I just run with the ball.”

Yerington (3-2, 3-4), which had a chance to move into a second-place tie, came out of the blocks fast after receiving the opening kickoff. Rick Gutierrez burst 18 yards up the middle on the first play and Josh Allen followed with a 38-yard run to the Mustangs’ 12. The next three plays gained only one yard, however, and then Matt Farler’s 29-yard field goal attempt failed.

Moments later, Robles exploded through a hole on the left side created by guard Hiram Knight, tackle Richard Vasquez and a lead block from Raul Rosas, and ran 80 yards for the game’s first score.

“That was a pretty big run,” Robles said. “That helped pump our team up because everyone was down a little after they had started out so well.” There were other missed opportunities for the Lions, who turned the ball over three times in the first half before going to the locker room at halftime trailing 30-0. Nic Tupa recovered two fumbles, one at the Mustangs’ 27, and Tate Morehead intercepted a pass in the end zone with less than a minute remaining before halftime.

Yerington got on the scoreboard on touchdown runs of 23 and 3 yards by Allen in the second half. Allen finished the night with 124 yards on 17 carries, plus he caught three passes and also had an interception on the defensive side. Gutierrez ran for another 81 yards on 12 carries.

Farler completed seven of 14 passes for 63 yards. Zach Roots caught four balls for 51 yards.

Pershing County rushed for 420 yards overall. Quarterback Brandon Swindlehurst added 127 yards on eight carries and threw one touchdown pass.

Notes: Doug Paine rushed for 80 yards and one touchdown and quarterback Phil Wilson scored on a 50-yard run to help Yerington’s junior varsity to a 28-8 victory over Pershing County. The Lions surrendered 108 yards in total offense … Yerington’s Football Hall of Fame welcomed six new inductees Friday during pregame ceremonies: Roy Osborne (1938), Pete Aiazzi (1946), Edgar Harry (1952), Bryan Masini (1969), Donald Giorgi (1975) and Chris Askins (1984). Osborne was a member of Yerington’s 1936 state championship team, Giorgi played for the 1973 AA state championship team, Masini played for the 1969 squad that defeated Elko 35-21 for the AA state title and Askins played for the school’s last state championship winner as a sophomore in 1982 and went on to become a first-team all-state lineman. The Lions have also won state football championships in 1953, 1954, 1964 and 1973. The Yerington Hall of Fame now numbers 141 members.