DAYTON — Pat Squires, Dayton football coach, shouldn’t need much to motivate his team this week for two reasons.
The first is last week’s 40-0 mercy rule loss to Elko, and the second was last year’s 20-10 loss to the Sparks Railroaders, who visit Dayton today (7 p.m.) for a Northern 3A game. Both should be motivating factors for different reasons.
“We have to put last week behind us,” Squires said earlier this week. “This game is one we can compete in. If we execute on both sides of the ball, we will have a good shot. There is a lot of energy in the program right now. I think we’re on the upswing. As long as we do our job, we have a good chance to win this week.
“We were capable of winning last year. We competed with them. We just made too many mistakes. Last year’s group didn’t know how to finish games. I think the Lincoln County game helped. It was a close game and we came out on top. I think this team is ready to play in close games.”
Bradley Rose, Sparks head coach, knows he’s in for a tough battle.
“We know Dayton is going to be a challenge for us on Friday,” he said in an e-mail on Wednesday. “They showed a lot of grit against Elko, and despite the score played very tough. Coach Squires does a great job preparing his team from what I’ve seen. We expect to have a well prepared and physical opponent.”
Sparks presents a little different challenge from many 3A teams. The Railroaders like to spread teams out and throw the ball. The Railroaders threw 19 passes against Lovelock, but no stats were available from the lopsided loss to South Tahoe.
“I watched the film from the South Tahoe game, and they threw the ball a lot,” Squires said. “They will throw 25-30 passes a game. They also can run the ball. They will throw the ball on any down and in any situation.
“Defensively, they play a 5-2 with two deep safeties. There will be a lot of 1-on-1 coverage. It does take away the middle of the field from us.”
The Dust Devils are expected to have the services of Justin Schmidt, who has missed the first two games with an injury. That should help the Dayton passing and running game.
Carson stops Panthers
Jared Barnard went 3-0 at No. 1 singles to lead the Senators to an 11-7 win over North Valleys on Thursday at Carson High School.
Two doubles teams — Eric Tomita and Bradley Wiggins, and Jacob Wolz and Gabe Fanning — also went 3-0 on the day.
The other two wins came from Jack Dudley, who went 2-1 in singles.
Senators roll North Valleys
RENO — Carson rolled to an easy 16-2 win over the Panthers, evening its record at 2-2 heading into today’s home make-up match against Hug.
Singles players Becca Trejo and Emily McCaskill each went 3-0, and Rachelle Fenzke went 2-1. The doubles tandems of Amanda Schulz and Nancy Henrickson, and Adele Fliegler and Alexsandra Knowlton also went 3-0.