BEATTY – The Tonopah offense was too much for the Hornets as the Beatty football team lost 54-38 in a battle closer than the final score indicates.
The two teams squared off on Friday to see who would be the the third place seed and for Beatty and Tonopah, the game felt more like the state championship game.
Beatty coach James Robertson said his team considered this game to be more important than the playoff game. He said that because next to Sandy Valley, Tonopah is the best team his team would face other than Spring Mountain and Pahranagat Valley.
At the half the score was 20-12 and the Hornets were pretty much still in the game.
Tonopah (6-2 overall, 4-2 Division IV Southern) started off with the ball and on their first drive Jamaree Earl took the ball down the field on the second play for a 40-yard TD run to make the score 26-12. Earl had 3 TDs for the Muckers.
Beatty returned the ball to the 20-yard line of Tonopah. Jhonpaul Adujar then took the ball into the end zone from the 5-yard line on a power run on the fourth play of the drive to make the game, 26-18.
Tonopah answered with a another touchdown. This time the Muckers passed to Tyler Kirkland for a 65-yard TD pass to make the score 32-18.
Beatty then went three-and-out and Tonopah took over on their 25. Tonopah had a series of penalties and Beatty intercepted the ball, but the play was called back due to a Beatty penalty. The Muckers then scored on quarterback keeper by Tanner Otteson. This made it 38-18.
Beatty then took the ball the length of the field and scored on an Adujar TD-run, to get the Hornets a little closer. The score was 38-24 at the end of the third quarter.
Tonopah started the fourth on their 10-yard line and on 3rd down fumbled the ball on their 3-yard line. At the half, the Beatty coaches talked to the defensive line about getting penetration on the line. Hornets penetration caused the fumble.
It took two plays for Beatty to score.They gave the ball to big Hugo Mendoza, who ran the ball in for a TD on second down to make the game a one-touchdown game, 38-32.
The Hornets then needed to stop the Muckers and they did. They forced Tonopah to a three-and-out and it looked like Beatty was going to rally for the win, but Beatty fumbled the punt return. This led to an easy Muckers TD to make the score 46-32.
Despite the costly mistake, Beatty wasn’t through yet and with five minutes to play in the game they didn’t give up. The Muckers tried an unsuccessful onside kick, which gave the Hornets great field position. On the fifth play of the drive, Adujar broke a run for 40-yard TD run. Beatty was back in the game with the score being 46-38.
The Hornets defense then got tough and forced another three-and-out with under three minutes to play.
Beatty took over the ball on their 15-yard line and tried one more drive. The Tonopah defense held and the Hornets were forced to go for it on fourth and 10, which was unsuccessful.
Tonopah took over on the Beatty 10-yard line and scored on two plays to put the game on ice.
Hornets coach James Robertson was disappointed with the loss.
“You can’t win games when you make so many mistakes,” he said.
Adujar led the team in rushing with 105 yards and TDs with 3. Michael Olson had 44 yards and 2 TDs and Hugo Mendoza had 1. On defense, Nick Zamora led the team in tackles with 13 and Adujar had 12, Isaias Femat had 10.
The Muckers will play Beaver Dam, who is coming off two great wins. The Diamondbacks beat Sandy Valley 112-84 and Round Mountain 84-48.
“I really have no idea what kind of team Beaver Dam is,” Muckers coach Duffy Otteson said.
“We need to focus on Beaver Dam (5-3, 3-3) and then Spring Mountain.”
The Hornets will play at Indian Springs (0-8, 0-6) on Thursday at 7 p.m., due to Friday’s Nevada Day holiday.
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @vernheepvt on Twitter.