At Hooper Stadium Wednesday night, football fans were treated to a hard-hitting gridiron battle that featured big plays, great runs and lots of face paint.
At the annual Nevada Union powderpuff flag-football game, the senior squad jumped all over the juniors, scoring on its first three drives en route to a 28-0 victory.
“Everyone on our team is really athletic,” senior coach Nathaniel Cartmell said. “They did what they had to do to win.”
Before the game, senior coach Bobby Curtis said fans could expect to see some “trickeration” from the senior squad.
The seniors got tricky on the first play from scrimmage when Kaylin Martin took the snap and fired a backward pass to Nicole Lierly, who then avoided the rush and lobbed a long pass back to Martin who was streaking up the far sideline. Martin made the catch for a 31-yard gain.
Senior Megan “Dash” Johnson bolted 16-yards on the next play. Then Lierly found Dani Szura for a 15-yard completion to set up a first and goal.
Senior running back Glynn Baxter punched the ball in for the score two plays later to give the seniors the early lead.
The juniors couldn’t get anything going offensively as they never crossed midfield in the first half. Causing havoc in the junior backfield was senior Emily “Cross” Smith. The defensive lineman knifed through the junior offensive line several times, throwing the junior offense out of sync.
The seniors added scores from Catherine “Hulk” Magill and Sophie “Tiny” Lake to push their lead to 22-0 at the half.
In the second, the seniors added another score, this time coming on 9-yard run from Johnson.
The juniors threatened in the fourth quarter, getting key runs from Dallas Albano to move them down field. Albano led the juniors in rushing. The juniors drove down to the senior 1-yard line, but the seniors gave no joy to the juniors on this night, stopping them on fourth-and-goal to conclude the game, 28-0.
Throughout the game, several big hits by young athletes marked in war paint got the crowd to its feet, but no tackling penalties were called during the game.
After the contest, Martin expressed how much this game meant to her and her fellow seniors.
“We were really aggressive out there,” she said. “Last year, we lost to the seniors, and we wanted to get ours.”
Lierly led the seniors in both passing and rushing with 73 yards on the ground and 81 yards through the air.
“Nicole (Lierly) is a huge asset,” Cartmell said. “She hits players and can run the ball really well.”
The event was made all the more fun by painted male cheerleaders tumbling and bumbling around the nearly full stadium.
To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford, call (530) 477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org