The Tonopah High School football team lost its season opener 82-56 to Mineral County.
Sophomore Muckers quarterback Dillan Otteson had 20 completions for 349 yards and ran for 73 yards in the Friday road game at Hawthorne.
Three Tonopah running backs also chipped in, junior John Shiflet, sophomore Damian Pace, and junior Brandon Scobee, who combined for 157 yards.
“It’s a work in progress,” Muckers head football coach Duffy Otteson said, speaking of his young, inexperienced team, which put up nearly 832 all-purpose yards in a losing effort.
The Muckers defense gave up 82 points.
“We are a very young team with only one senior and a lot of sophomores and freshmen, and we need to spend more time on our defensive game,” the coach said.
“Our offense is complicated and we have dedicated a lot of time to make the offense work. We only have one starter, John Shiflet, returning this year and a lot of new faces on the team, and so we spent a lot of time getting the offense set up. We plan on spending more time in the coming weeks to get the defense on the same level as the offense and that will take some time.”
Junior running back Shiflet scored three touchdowns, two receiving and one rushing for a total of 233 yards for the offense.
Junior tight end Kevin Pope had two touchdowns with nine receptions for 92 yards. And finally, sophomore Vance Day had one TD and 103 yards and sophomore Scobee had one TD and 59 yards.
On defense, Day led the team with 13 tackles and a half sack, followed by Shiflet with 12 tackles and a fumble recovery. Pope had 11 tackles and one and a half sacks.
Mineral County coach Les Horn said one of his running backs had 225-yards rushing and his QB had 196 yards.
“We have a pretty strong team and gave Tonopah some trouble with our running game,” Horn said. “We have a veteran team and hope to make the playoffs this year.”
The Muckers’ home opener is on Friday as they face the always tough Independence, California.
“I hope we can do better this week on defense,” Otteson said. “I think with hard work we can get better and come out with a win at home this week.”
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at firstname.lastname@example.org