A week after suffering its first loss in their first game of the season to Tonopah, the Mineral County High football team responded in a big way Friday night.
The Serpents traveled to Wells and earned its first victory of the year, taking down the Leopards 60-14.
“Things went well for us, I’m very happy with the way our kids played,” said Mineral County coach Curt McElroy.
Much like they did against the Muckers, Mineral County opened the game by scoring first, but this time they didn’t let up.
On their first possession, Serpents running back Michael Smith ran the ball in from nine yards out to open the scoring, his first of what would be a big night for the senior. Not long after, Brandon West intercepted a pass from Wells quarterback Zane Rodriguez and took it back 25 yards for the score, before Smith broke off a 78 yard touchdown run two minutes later to put Mineral County up 18-0.
Smith’s big game was just getting started, as he would score three more times in the contest, giving him five total touchdowns on the night along with over 200 yards on the ground.
“Michael is just a horse,” McElroy said. “He’s really coming into his own and is a great player for us.”
It wasn’t just the offense that shined for Mineral County in the win, the defense stepped up in a big way as well. McElroy’s defensive concerns from week one were alleviated on this night as his team held the Leopards running game to just 22 total yards on 16 carries. The air attack for Wells was also held in check as they would only record seven completions in 24 attempts for 80 yards.
The Leopards only two scores came on a 60-yard touchdown pass late in the first half and a 70-yard kickoff return with just under four minutes remaining in the game when the Serpent starters were replaced by younger players.
“Our defense played great. Our guys stepped up and made tackles, and our line was really good too,” said McElroy.
Tyler Smith and West led the way in tackles for Mineral County and for good measure the defense added a safety in the third quarter to extend the Serpents lead to 40.
Also getting in the scoring column was freshman running back Robert McFalls, who scored twice on rushes from two and 70 yards out to cap off the big win. West also got into the act on offense and ran the ball in from one yard to put his team up 32-0 at the time.
The Serpents will now have a week off to prepare for their next opponent, Virginia City. They were scheduled to face Excel Christian on Friday night in Hawthorne, but Excel was forced to forfeit due to a lack of healthy players.