Alba Amoros/Special to PVT - The Tonopah Muckers evened their record to 2-2 by beating the Sandy Valley Sidewinders on Friday. The Muckers are seen here planning for the winning play of the game.
The Tonopah Muckers won their first league game beating the Sandy Valley Sidewinders 26-22 at home on Friday. Matt Misener had a late touchdown, and scored on a 14-yard run with 15 seconds left before the end of the game.
This was the first game where Sandy Valley actually had some competition. They improved drastically in offense since last year, beating Victor Valley Christian 62-16 and Beaver Dam 74-28.
By the end of the first half, it looked as if the Sidewinders were going to run away with another game.
The Muckers were behind at the half 22-8, but they slowly whittled away at the Sandy Valley lead and by the end of the third quarter it was only 22-14. The Muckers defense didn’t allow another point and the offense scored 18 points in the second half.
Misener led his team to victory with two touchdowns on 13 carries for 152 yards.
“Before the last play of the game we all looked each other in the eye and I told my line if they got the block for me I would score for them and we would walk out of here with the win. I was very moved by the confidence my coach instilled in me, kind of giving me the reins in the last play,” Misener said.
Muckers Coach Duffy Otteson felt the last play was just amazing.
“We were down by four — just one touchdown. It was a very good play,” he said. “We just had to play our game, and they did it, they came back. It was a good game.”
During the first two quarters, Sandy Valley was in command, mostly because of the Muckers defensive issues in the first half.
“Our defense wasn’t doing very good at the beginning of the game, we fixed it in the halftime and we shut them down,” Otteson said.
Misener believes his team came out for the second half with more confidence.
“At halftime, the leaders and the coaches of the team got together and figured out what we needed to fix. Without a doubt in our minds we knew we would not be walking out of there with a loss. Coming out of the second half they had a big play, but we answered back with a big defensive stance,” Misener said.
With the win, Tonopah improves its record to 2-2 on the season (2-2, 1-0). The offense is averaging 316.5-yards per game with 18 touchdowns.
Jimmy Withers is out with a sprained ankle and Conner Friel took his place during the game. The extent of Withers’ injury will be known soon.
“We are trying to find who needs to be in what spot and we are just working on getting everything situated, so we don’t have a lot of fumbles and bad snaps,” the coach said.
The Muckers travel to Round Mountain to confront the Knights on Friday at 7 p.m.