The Beatty Hornets rolled past the Pyramid Lake Lakers on Saturday, 26-0. Hornets Coach Leo Verzilli said his team played well. He described the Lakers as a good middle-of-the-road team, which was perfect for his team to play as the first game of the season.
“They were big, so they did not move a lot. They were frickin’ big. Even their running backs were bigger than our lineman. Our kids played well even though we had young kids that were inexperienced. They ran their stuff well, and defensively we gang tackled. It was a good first game. They had a couple of athletes that they went to mostly. Our kids had a couple of interceptions,” he said.
Beatty stats are hard to come by because the coach is short-handed, but the lead rusher for the Hornets was Eric Flores. Defensively the Hornets shut down the slow moving Lakers.
“I need a good volunteer up here to help me do the stats,” he said. “Our defense played well. They had a couple of good drives. They were inside their 20 a couple of times. Our pass defense was much better with two interceptions and one sack. We had a half-dozen tackles for a loss. We just had long consecutive drives and took a lot of time off the clock, and we threw for at least 65 yards. We also had two safeties and they had to kick from the 20.”
Verzilli said his team had few penalties for its first game.
“We didn’t have a lot of dumb penalties,” he said. His defense stopped them from turning the corner and hit the gaps well and played well fundamentally.
In the end, the coach was pleased. He believes it was a good decision to have Pyramid as the first game.
“We got used to game speed and the different routs. Now we have to go play Alamo. That was supposed to be our first game and I am glad I got a game in front of Alamo. I only have four kids that came back from last year and plenty of freshman with no game experience. They were not afraid, they came up and laid a lick on it. That is what I was most proud about. They hit and they just kept hitting. No one backed down, and kept coming. That answered a lot of questions,” he said.
The next game is against Pahranagat Valley Panthers on Friday at 7 p.m. The Panthers have been the perennial Champions for the past five years. Last week they destroyed the Virginia City Muckers 44-0 with a freshman quarterback who threw for four touchdowns.
“I hope our defense moves around. I want to test their offense. They either bring seven or drop back seven in pass defense. They don’t play any games, they just come. Our biggest problem last year was our defense was just standing there waiting to get hit. This year I put in a new defense and no one is going to be standing around. Everyone is moving on every snap of the ball,” Verzilli said.
Verzilli will get his wish on Friday. It should be a great test for the Hornets’ defense.