Coming into the game, Friday night at Wooster High School, the question was how would Damonte handle being the top ranked team in Northern Nevada. The answer came on the first two series. Damonte kicked off and the defense forced a three-and-out. On the Mustangs first offensive play Ashton Hayes took the ball across midfield and down inside the 20-yard line, a spectacular run, which was called back because of a holding penalty. But the Mustangs were undaunted, and scored on a 53-yard touchdown pass, Ethan Kulpin to Nick Vargas, the first of four touchdowns for Vargas on the night.
On the Mustangs next possession, Kulpin found Ian Williams with a deep ball. Williams was called down at the one-yard line, and Hayes punched it in on the next play. The Colts did connect with a long pass for a score, Jace Papke to Donovan Ratfield (statistically the top wideout in the North this season) which narrowed the scored to 13-6, however freshman Weston Smith entered the game and found Nick Vargas with a touchdown pass, after a balanced drive, making it 20-7. Smith would go on to throw four more touchdowns before the night was over. Hayes wasn’t done for the night yet, before the half was over Hayes scored on an 80-yard gallop making it 27-6. Hayes had two big runs called back, both on holding calls. It was the first game for Hayes after receiving a scholarship offer from the University of Nevada Wolf Pack. Coach Norvell had been at the Bishop Manogue game, last week, and liked what he saw enough to provide the sophomore his first D1 scholarship offer.
The final score was 55-14. The Mustangs were without Ty Polson; Polson suffered a collarbone injury in the first quarter of the game at Bishop Manogue last week. Filling in for Polson, at safety, is sophomore Tyler Clark, who also plays wideout and has been getting more touches as the season goes on. Kulpin made way for Smith, at quarterback, both had excellent nights. A good snapshot of the night came on the Mustangs last touchdown, Ryan Mandichak was in a footrace to the endzone with a Wooster defender. Mandichak slowed up at the goal line, initiated contact with the defender, knocked him to the turf, and walked into the end zone. I had the opportunity to talk to Ernie Howren, the head coach of the Bishop Manogue Miners, after last week’s game at Bishop Manogue, and Howren complimented the Mustangs on their speed, physicality, and mental toughness. These were all on display Friday night at Wooster High School.
Up Next – The Mustangs return home and will host the Carson Senators, Friday night at 7:00 PM. Don’t forget about the freshman and junior varsity squads. The freshman play Thursday, 3:30 PM, and the junior varsity plays Thursday at 5:45 PM.