Hornets running back Michael Olson ran the ball just eight times last Friday, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter to help the Hornets clobber Sandy Valley 54-12.
“We scored 30 points in the first quarter and ran Olson just that eight times and then we put the younger kids in,” Hornets coach Leo Verzilli said.
So far this season has been a breeze for the Hornets. But that all changes this week as Beatty (5-0 overall, 3-0 Class 1 A Southern) hosts Spring Mountain at 7 p.m. on Friday.
“The hardest games are the last four,” Verzilli said. “We have Spring Mountain (2-2, 2-1), Round Mountain, Tonopah and Pahranagat Valley. This year we are peaking when the other teams are not. We will play 10 seniors against Spring Mountain this year so it will be senior against senior. That doesn’t happen normally.”
Verzilli believes that his team has a great opportunity to beat Spring Mountain this year. It’s a big game for Beatty because this will test the team to see how good they really are. Beatty has not beaten Spring Mountain in the past four years.
The Golden Eagles were the state runner-ups in 2014 and have appeared in the state tourney in three of the last four years. Their only league loss was to powerhouse Pahranagat Valley.
“I want to lay wood to them (Spring Mountain) this year,” he said. “This is the first year our kids are actually excited about playing the Golden Eagles. They are chomping at the bit.”
Beatty will go after Spring Mountain with their well-trained line and productive running attack.
“Our line has four years’ experience and can block against any defense,” Verzilli said. “These guys know how to block the different defenses and it’s the reason we are successful and they know it. Speed kills. We have fast, 200-pound linemen.”
Spring Mountain can pass the ball. Against the sound defense of Pahranagat Valley, quarterback Eric Brooks threw for 219 yards.
The Golden Eagles had 303 total yards against the Panthers and still came up losing. That day they ran for 84 yards.
Spring Mountain likes to run by committee. Their main runners are QB Brooks (101 yards) and Juan Zarate (74 yards).
On the passing side, the two best receivers are Damariyae Royal (191 yards) and Lashawn Young (120 yards).
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at email@example.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes