Battle Mountain’s Lyle Whitten chases down Incline running back Jakob Hugar during Saturday night’s game in Battle Mountain.
Battle Mountain’s Lyle Whitten chases down Incline running back Jakob Hugar during Saturday night’s game in Battle Mountain.
It has been one of those years where if the Battle Mountain High School football team had any luck, it would be bad luck.

The Longhorns played its home finale on Saturday night, honoring a handful of seniors, but once again found themselves on the short end of the scoreboard.

Incline came to town and left with a 17-8 victory, dropping the Longhorns to 1-3 on the season. Battle Mountain’s three losses have been by a combined 13 points.

“Three games by a total of 13 points — that is our season in a nutshell,” said BMHS coach Mitch Domagala. “Tonight, our defense played awesome and our offense kind of sputtered in the red zone. The kids are playing hard and you can’t fault them. We just need that one break and we are not getting it.” 

As it has been much of the year, Battle Mountain found itself in a defensive fight with an opponent.

The Longhorns were able to move the ball in the first half, but saw drives end on downs or turnovers in Incline territory.

After forcing Incline to punt on the initial drive of the contest, the Longhorns moved the ball down the field on the running strength of Jose Guizar and Anthony Silva. 

However, the drive ended on downs at the Incline 20-yard line.

Battle Mountain saw another drive end on downs in Incline territory late in the first quarter, which led to the first points of the night for Incline.

The Highlanders appeared to lead 6-0 but a 5-yard touchdown run by Bradley Rye was called back on a holding penalty.

Another penalty moved the Highlanders further back, forcing them to kick a 27-yard field goal by Tyler Manship with 8:34 left in the first half.

Battle Mountain moved the ball again into Incline territory on a pass from Anthony Silva to Terrance Fetterly, but a sack ended any momentum on the drive and Incline led 3-0 at halftime.

After both teams traded punts to begin the second half, Battle Mountain drove back into Incline territory but saw the drive end with an interception.

Incline took advantage and drove 68, yards capping the drive off with a 5-yard run by Manship to make the score 10-0.

The Longhorns punted on their next possession, pinning the Highlanders at their own 1-yard line. In a massive momentum shift, Incline’s Bradley Rye broke free for a 94-yard run before being caught at the 2-yard line by Guizar. Rye, eventually got his touchdown, scoring one play later to give Incline a 17-0 lead with 10:47 to play.

“That’s a big momentum shift,” Domagala said. “We have the chance to get points there and they turn into a big run. You have to give Guizar credit for chasing him down. He didn’t quit on the play. That was indicative of the effort the kids are giving.” 

Battle Mountain saw another drive end inside the Incline 30-yard line, when Silva was stripped of the ball. However, the Longhorns the got ball back and scored its first points of the night on a 6-yard run by Silva to make the score 17-8 with 6:01 to play. 

“We are still trying to clean some things up,” added the coach. “Unfortunately, with the short season we have, you don’t have those extra games to get ready and work out the little things.”

Incline attempted to run the clock out and took four minutes off the clock, before seeing a drive end at the Battle Mountain 27-yard line.

Battle Mountain had a little more than two minutes to cut into the lead but saw the drive and game end on fourth down, as the ball popped out of the hands of Anthony Del Rio.

Battle Mountain ends the season Saturday at Wooster High School in Reno against Coral Academy.

“We will rebound and come back and finish out strong,” Domagala said. “We want to send out the seniors in the right way and build for this summer and fall. It stinks for the seniors that they didn’t get a full season. Their effort has been great this year.”