Pershing County's Mariano Gomez picks up extra yards for the Mustangs during Friday's home game against North Tahoe.
Pershing County's Mariano Gomez picks up extra yards for the Mustangs during Friday's home game against North Tahoe.
The Pershing County High School football team played its final home game of the season on Friday night.

The Mustangs sent a chill down North Tahoe’s back, sending the Lakers back to Tahoe City on the short end of a 43-8 blowout.

“It was nice to come out and get a big win at home,” said coach Mike Brooks. “The kids needed it, especially on senior night. It should give them confidence going forward.”

North Tahoe has reason for pride. They’re a young team with players stepping into unfamiliar roles. Coach Brian Fink appears to have achieved his goal of creating a football family. 

Cooper Kohnen scored a rushing touchdown for the Lakers early in the third quarter. A good kick brought the total to eight Laker points for the night.

The Lakers will be back for more in 2020. They’re determined to progress up the ranks of the 2A Northern League. Teams rise and topple over the years with nothing constant but change and hard work.

To defend their position, the Mustangs build muscle in the weight room during the off-season. This past summer, 24 players met their lifting requirement – 25 days of lifting.

“That’s remarkable considering our smaller team size this year,” said the coach. 

Pershing County graduated 14 seniors last spring. The younger players had to step up.

For example, Devin Moura made his first varsity start on Friday night. The speedy sophomore usually plays JV quarterback and defensive back.

Against the Lakers, Moura took a shot at cornerback, a challenging defensive position. He was all over the field, disrupting Laker passes and making tackles.

Raul Rincon dominated both sides of the ball. The PCHS junior has another year to go. According to coach Brooks, QB Rincon played his best game of the year under the lights of Yanni Field this past weekend.

Sebastien Donaldson, Caleb Nolf, Christopher Fly-Knopf and JC Astle capped off their high school football years. 

They each graduate this spring. Friends and family poured onto the field after the game to send the foursome off in a blaze of glory.

They’ll soon pass the torch to the younger Mustangs. A cadre of nine freshmen and sophomore JV players earned extra yards for the varsity Mustangs on Friday night.

They included Moura, Ulises Corona, Esteban Vidrio, Wyatt Diaz, Victor Flores, Brayden Wagner, Noel Zaldivar, Jose Jimenez and Ashton Nolf.

Brooks thanked Connie Gottschalk for announcing the North Tahoe game. He also shouted out to the chain gang, clock operators and support staff. 

The Mustangs now have a score to settle. On Oct. 24, Battle Mountain slammed Pershing with a final score of 42-6.

The Longhorns won the privilege of hosting the first round of the playoffs this Friday at 6 p.m. 

Pershing County travels to Longhorn country as the third seed, gunning for a different outcome than their last match-up. Turnovers plagued the Mustangs, giving Battle Mountain short fields for touchdowns.

Together, Lovelock will fight to the finish. Win, lose or draw, the Mustangs will compete with heart and good sportsmanship.