Yerington rolls by Incline
September 10, 2004
INCLINE VILLAGE – For the past three years, Yerington High football coach Cody Neville begged Mikey Burt to come out for the team.
Burt finally gave in, and at least for the last two weeks, has been everything that Neville hoped for and then some.
The 5-9 150-pound Burt scored on touchdown runs of 66 and 44 yards en route to a 157-yard night to lead Yerington to a big 37-20 win over Incline Friday night.
Burt has been extremely effective. He touched the ball three times last week against Independence and scored once, and had seven touches and the aforementioned two
scores last night.
“I’m loving it,” Burt said. “I decided I wanted to try this year and see how it felt.”
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All I wanted to do is to see him carry one to satisfy my curiosity,” Neville said. “You can see he has some natural ability.”
Burt wasn’t the only Lion to have a big day. Ricky Menesini gained 92 yards on 19 packs and Josh Inserra carried eight times for 87 yards. All told, Yerington rushed for 362 yards and finished with 408 yards total offense, which is a tribute to the offensive line headed by John Holloway, Vincent Lowery, Bobby Sanchez, Ryan Gilmore, Jesse Halterman and Eric Dixon.
The group keyed drives of 89 and 99 yards in the first half.
ì”We pride ourselves on our conditioning. We push them (the linemen) to the limit in practice” Neville said. “Ultimately that was the difference.”
That, and the Lions’ ability to completely bottle up Incline’s running attack. The Highlanders managed just 36 yards on 23 attempts, a paltry 1.5 per attempt. In high school football it’s simple. If you can’t run effectively, you won’t win a lot of games.
“We made an adjustment after the Independence game,” Neville said. “We moved Gilmore to defensive end. He’s a big strong kid, and he really shuts down that outside threat.”
Incline quarterback Christian Spaulding did throw for 176 yards, but his two second-half interceptions, both by Kyle Johnson, thwarted any comeback hopes.
Neville gambled twice in the first half, and both were successful.
The first gamble was a game-opening onsides kick that Andrew Rempp recovered along the left sideline before falling out of bounds at the Yerington 45.
After a five-yard penalty, Matt Richardson found Inserra in the right flat, and he bolted upfield for a 35-yard gain down to the Incline 15. Rempp scored two plays later on a 13-yard run. Menesini’s conversion made it 8-0 with 10:25 left.
“We practice that a lot,” Neville said. “It’s always a threat. I just decided I wanted to try and get the momentum to our side right off.”
Incline took the ensuing kickoff and drove 69 yards for a score, as Spaulding hooked up with Spence Pardee for a 38-yard score. Brian Fisher’s PAT made it 8-7 with 7:13 left. Fisher had a 16-yard catch on the drive.
Again, Yerington showed its ability to control the ball on the ground. The Lions drove 89 yards on 12 plays with Menesini scoring from the 1. Menesini added the conversion run to make it 16-7 with 59 seconds left in the high-scoring quarter. Inserra had the big play of the drive with a 50-yard sweep around the right side.
Incline was on the verge of getting back in the game, but Pardee was stopped just short of the end zone on a fourth-and-goal play from the 7, turning the ball over on downs.
In the shadow of their own end zone, the Lions came up with what will be their best drive of the season, going 99 yards in 10 plays. They converted three first downs along the way, setting the stage for Neville’s second big gamble of the half.
Facing a fourth-and-2 from his own 34, Neville went for the first down, and Burt made the coach look like a genius when he broke it all the way for a 66-yard score. Inserra’s kick made it 23-7 with 5:27 left in the half.
“It was a sweep,” Neville said. “I feel about the sweep like spread offense teams feel about throwing the ball on fourth-and-1. I have a lot of confidence in it; our ability to be successful when we run it.”
Incline came right back with a score to make it 23-13 at the half, but Burt sealed the result for good when he broke off a 44-yard scoring run with 4:29 left in the third quarter. Menesini’s PAT run made it 31-13.
The Lions’ defense kept Incline in check, not allowing a first down on the ensuing four possessions, and Trevor Hayes’ 14-yard scoring run, following a Johnson interception, made it 37-13 with 8:34 left in the contest.
Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com or 881-1281.
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