YOUTH FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Jr. Miners (8U) power past Bella Vista |

YOUTH FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Jr. Miners (8U) power past Bella Vista

The Union staff

The Nevada Union 8U Jr. Miners put forth a dominate effort on the gridiron Saturday.

Behind a stout defense and a potent offense, the Jr. Miners went on the road and topped the Bella Vista Jr. Broncos, 40-0, to kickoff the 2019 season.

The offensive line, led by center Braylen Link, blazed the way to six touchdown runs on the day, three of which came from tailback Julian Cortez. Fullbacks Urijah Painter and Connor Hall also scored on the day, while quarterback Anthony Lang scrambled for the final touchdown.

Split end Dominic Graham led the day with multiple long yardage runs, which were sprung by key flatback blocks from fellow receiver Ryan Schlachter.

Tight end Kevin Mohr grabbed multiple extra-point conversion catches to lead the day in receptions, both of which were thrown by Lang.

“Our team played extremely well today in all three phases of the game of football” said head coach Kyle Klauer. “We executed our new spread offense well, tackled fundamentally sound on defense and ran our special teams plays to a tee that allowed us to recover key onside kicks early in the game and gain overall momentum. Credit goes out to the entire coaching staff. Coaches Anthony Lang, Julio Cortez, Adam Hall, Ian Flynn, Andrew Ehlers, and team mom Amy Harvey all of whom did what we needed to do today to lead these young men to victory.”

The Jr. Miner defense completely shut down the Jr. Broncos offense on the day due to tough defensive line play in the trenches led by Talon Smith, Kealon Schrom, Ryland Flynn, Nick Leach, Dallas Jones, and Chad Traverso. Jordan Lostrie, Jasper Gillespie and Jesse Logan also came in on defense to help with the shutout win.

Cornerback Carter Ehlers sealed the edges on the Bella Vista outside run plays with help from defensive end Cody Wasson and linebacker Caleb McCallum. Linebackers Cortez and Painter led the team in tackles on the day for a defense that forced multiple fumbles and never allowed the Bronco offense to reach the red zone.

Up next for the Jr. Miners is a road matchup against the East Nicholas Jr. Spartans, the 2018 SYF Division 6 league runner up at the 8U level, on September 14th.


With a menacing defense and a couple big plays on offense, the 14U Jr. Miners were able to top Bella Vista.

After falling behind 6-0, the 14U Jr. Miners charged back in the second quarter with a long touchdown pass from quarterback Nolan Chappell to Ben Locatelli which tied things up.

After the defense stuffed Bella Vista on its next possession, the Jr. Miners didn’t waste any time getting back in the end zone. Chappell once again found Locatelli for a long scoring play.

“This kid has everything,” NU head coach Jeff Smith said of Chappell. “He has the arm, he can move around, he’s quick and he knows the game of football.”

Chappell then ran in the extra-point to give NU a 13-6 lead at the half.

Bella Vista would score in the second half, but the Jr. Miners stood tall when they needed to and thwarted the Jr. Broncos extra-point attempt.

Leading the Jr. Miners in tackles was Alec Ruiz. Zane Smith came down with an interception to halt a deep Jr. Broncos drive. Josh Purwin provided lockdown coverage at the cornerback position. And, Cole McCracken was a standout for NU on both sides of the ball.

“These kids went down there and beat a good football team,” said Smith. “We got a pretty good team. We got some special players.”

10U: Jr. Broncos 38,

Jr. Miners 19

The 10U Jr. Miners couldn’t quite keep up with the Bella Vista Jr. Broncos in the season opener.

Standouts for the Jr. Miners offense were running back Ryder Eelkema, quarterback J.C. Harris, running back Jason Horne and fullback Owen Hooper.

Eelkema rushed for 169 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. Hooper had a handful of key blocks which sprung Eelkema for big gains. Harris passed for 55 yards and hit on 5-of-7 attempts. Horne chipped in 26 receiving yards and 18 rush yards. Center Vinny Kiser was solid in his first opportunity to snap the ball out of the shotgun formation.

Defensively, the Miners got strong play from Connor Brown with a sack and a forced fumble, Ayden Zane-King with seven total tackles and a recovered fumble, and Hooper with seven total tackles.

12U: Jr. Broncos 35,

Jr. Miners 0

The 12U Jr. Miners ran into a talented and physical Bella Vista squad and the result was a lopsided loss.

Bright spots for the Jr. Miners came from Colton Danos, who had a productive day on offense and defense, and found the end zone early in scrimmage time.

Anakin Steen had a couple of big runs. Brandon McCallum had a strong day playing multiple positions, and Colton Wasson had in interception late in the game.

Coaches may submit game reports by email at or by phone at 530-477-4232.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.