INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Oh sweet revenge.
Incline Village got a special, rare, taste of victory on Friday night against a team that has beaten them every time since at least 2005 — and maybe a lot longer.
Brad Rye rushed for 153 yards and three touchdowns and the Highlanders demolished the Yerington Lions 38-8 on the road.
“If you believe the local lore, it’s been 30 years since a team from Incline has beaten Yerington,” said Incline Head Coach Brian Martinez. “For the first time seemingly ever, the ball kept bouncing our way and we did everything right. It’s almost weird because we’re not used to doing everything the way we’re supposed to. There was no way any team was going to beat us Friday. It was a great game and everybody had a hand in the victory.”
The average scores between the two teams since 2005, 13 games and one forfeit, hasn’t been close. The Lions on average had beaten the Highlanders 36-9 before Friday’s beatdown. Last season’s 27-16 defeat was the closest contest in the series during that span.
Incline jumped on Yerington three minutes into the game when quarterback Dylan Cleary connected with receiver Brody Thralls for a 20-yard touchdown.
Three minutes later, Rye scored his first touchdown of the game on a 5-yard scamper for a 14-0 lead after the first quarter and Incline never looked back.
About half way through the second quarter Nick Suter booted a 35-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17-0.
Rye scored his second TD a few minutes later on another 5-yard burst and the Highlanders had the Lions in a stranglehold at halftime with a 24-0 lead.
If Yerington had any hopes of making a comeback, Rye dashed them with about three minutes left in the third quarter.
The senior exploded for a 72-yard scoring run to make it 31-0.
Yerington scored its lone TD early in the fourth quarter and Incline ended the scoring late in the game when Jack Reber plunged into the endzone.
Incline dominated the line of scrimmage rushing for 256 yards on 30 attempts, an 8.5 average. Suter rushed for 47 yards on four carries, Cleary gained 25 on four attempts, Reber had 22 yards and Jacob Hugar carried once for nine yards.
Cleary completed 9 of 12 passes for 114 yards, including five to Thralls for 56 yards. Alex Baker had three catches for 66 yards, Tyler Manship had two grabs for seven yards and Rye hauled in a pass that went for two yards.
“It wasn’t a one- or two-man show,” Martinez said. “Our line dominated and had their way. Once we saw we were going to handle the line of scrimmage, everything worked and everyone had a hand in the victory.
Reber led the Highlanders defense with 10 tackles, Thralls, Suter and David Resendiz each had nine stops and Marco Barraza had eight.
Barraza, Christopher Vaughn and Thralls each sacked the Yerington quarterback.
Rye intercepted a pass, Gus Cordova caused a fumble and also recovered one and Royce Stonebreaker recovered a fumble.
The Highlanders have won two straight after a narrow season-opening loss to Pershing County.
The Highlanders (2-1) are playing all their games on the road during this COVID-shortened season, that’s after shoveling about three feet of snow off the field in hopes of practicing and playing at home.
“These kids have literally overcome every obstacle in the world to play football this season,” Martinez said. “They’ve shoveled snow and have had to practice everywhere but on their home field. Everybody is stepping up.”
Up next is a visit to Battle Mountain. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
The Highlanders will finish their five game season at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 10, at Silver Stage in Silver Springs.