VIRGINIA CITY – The Wells football team faced an uphill climb Saturday in the first round of the Division 1A North postseason, a climb the Leopards could not make.
Virginia City ran amuck, starting the game by scoring 50-unanswered points and rolling to a 50-6 victory to advance to the state semifinal.
Junior running back Wyatt Pieretti put the Muckers on the board with a 30-yard rushing touchdown with 8:29 remaining in the first quarter.
The two-point conversion was added by senior quarterback Jordan Sequeira, opening an 8-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Sequeira fired a 28-yard touchdown to senior receiver Tanner Uken.
Sequeira once again ran for the conversion, extending to a 16-0 advantage.
Virginia City scored its third touchdown of the opening period with 2:08 on the clock, senior Evan Breckenridge punching home from two yards.
After one period of play, the Muckers led 22-0 and went looking for more.
Sequeira found Uken for the second time in the end zone on a one-yard pass, and Sequeira rushed for his third two-point conversion with 11:09 remaining in the first half.
Do-it-all Sequeira ensured Wells would not end his high school career, making big plays on the defensive side of the ball as well.
With 10:12 on the clock, he intercepted a pass and took the pick-six 40 yards to the house.
Virginia City opened a 36-0 halftime advantage.
The Muckers went to the ground game with the outcome well at-hand in the second half.
Pieretti opened a 42-0 advantage with a one-yard plunge at the 8:59 mark of the third quarter.
Go back to the well.
Pieretti tacked on his third rushing touchdown of the game with 4:13 on the clock, Sequeira hitting junior receiver Dustin Noriega for the conversion and a 50-0 lead.
The only high point of the ballgame for the Leopards came from a promising underclassman.
With 3:54 remaining in the third period, freshman Riley Stewart reeled in the ensuing kickoff and gave Wells its only points.
Stewart ripped off 90 yards for a kickoff return touchdown.
Wells’ offense was more than shut down by the Muckers’ defense, Virginia City doing better than a shutout for yardage.
The Leopards finished the contest with minus-6 yards of offense for the entire contest (minus-26 rushing, 20 passing).
Virginia City picked off three passes and recovered a Wells fumble, enabling the offense to turn the game into a 50-6 rout.
Junior Enrique Aguilar led the Wells offense with 24 yards receiving on three catches.
Defensively, senior Corbin Madison played a great game – making 17 tackles and three for losses.
Aguilar came up with 15 stops, while senior Luke Escamilla found double-digit tackles with 10.
Senior Juan Berumen made a sack, as did sophomore Sergio Soriano.
The Leopards came up with two takeaways, senior Orrin Taylor and sophomore Jared Martinez coming up with a fumble recovery apiece.
The lone semblance of points was provided by Stewart’s 90-yard touchdown on his only return of the game.
Wells was eliminated from the Division 1A postseason, while the North No. 1 Muckers have advanced to the state semifinal and will take on South No. 2 and defending state champion Spring Mountain at 1 p.m. Friday in Virginia City.
In the other semifinal, South No. 1 Pahranagat Valley will look to regain its state supremacy after falling to Spring Mountain in the 2016 final.
The Panthers had won eight-consecutive state championships before the loss, posting the third-longest winning streak in the history of high school football (105 games) during the run.
Pahranagat Valley will host North No. 2 Whittell – which ran through Eureka on Friday by a final score of 42-18 – facing the Warriors at 7 p.m. Friday in Alamo.