This by far will be the biggest game of the season for Beatty football as they host Tonopah on Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.
The game will decide who will be the third place seed for the playoffs, with the third seed playing Spring Mountain and the fourth seed playing perennial power Alamo.
The Hornets won last season in Tonopah, 55-33.
Both teams after this game will play one more game. Beatty (3-4 overall, 2-3 Division IV Southern) plays Indian Springs (0-7, 0-5) and Tonopah (5-2, 3-2) will play Beaver Dam.
Muckers coach Duffy Otteson is hoping to capture that third place so his team plays Spring Mountain (5-2, 4-1) in the playoffs.
“We have to win the next two games to stay in that third place spot,” he said.
The top two teams play the Northern teams for the state title. Last year Spring Mountain and Pahranagat Valley (7-0, 5-0) finished on top and the two played for the state title with Alamo winning the title.
Sandy Valley (4-3, 3-2) is out of the picture. They lost to Beaver Dam (4-3, 2-3) 112-84 last Friday. More than likely their team was badly battered by the Muckers and according to Otteson, one Sandy Valley player was airlifted out (their big running back), another was driven by ambulance to Hawthorne with a head injury and then another one hurt his knee.
Beatty plays Tonopah and Indian Springs and the Muckers will play Beaver Dam after the Hornets.
This year Beatty had a slow start, dropping four games in a row to Spring Mountain, Eureka, Sandy Valley and Alamo. Since those losses, the Hornets have surged back and have won their last two games.
The Beatty football team defeated Round Mountain 52-40 on Friday. The Knights lost, despite having 514 yards in offense to the Hornets’ 472 yards.
Hornets running back, Jhonpaul Adujar, led his team with 19 carries for 275 yards and he had 5 TDs for the night. Beatty’s big fullback, Hugo Mendoza, had 13 carries for 98 yards and 2 TDs.
For the Muckers to win they must stop those two runners. The quarterback for the Hornets is Nick Zamora. Zamora didn’t pass much and had 4 completions for 57 yards.
“We just ran the ball and ran some more,” Beatty coach James Robertson said. “When the fourth quarter came along we tried to hold on to the ball and just eat the clock. Round Mountain played a tough game for they stopped us twice in the red zone. I think we kept the ball longer and that’s why we won the game.”
The Muckers were able to shut down Round Mountain, who runs a power run type offense, which means they run with a fullback and tailback. In that game, Tonopah limited the Knights to 300 yards total offense and limited their rushing attack to 150 yards. Round Mountain only had 2 TDs.
The Beatty offense is similar to Round Mountain’s. So much so that Beatty coach James Robertson says they run identical plays to ours. The Hornets though may be slightly faster than the Knights and this can be a big difference in determining the outcome.
Robertson feels his team matches up well with the Muckers.
“To beat the Muckers we need to focus on tackling,” Robertson said. “We’ve just got to stop being sloppy if we want to win.”
Otteson feels that Beatty has speed.
“Beatty has a lot of kids and they play fast,” Otteson said. “We are going to have to tackle better and get back on track offensively. We will continue to work hard. That’s all we can do at this point. If the boys are hungry it will show.”
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at email@example.com. Follow @vernheepvt 0n Twitter.