SMITH VALLEY — After winning its season opener under first-year head coach Hunter Thomsen by a score of 20-0 in a forfeit-shortened contest on the road at Round Mountain, the Carlin football team’s second road game of the season was not a pleasant experience.
On Friday afternoon, the Railroaders fell behind early and often — dusted in Smith Valley by a final score of 54-12.
The Bulldogs led 14-6 after the first quarter — Carlin’s lone score coming on a Smith Valley miscue.
A botched snap in the end zone was pounced on by freshman Quinton Henderson for a defensive touchdown, the first of two takeaways by the Railroaders in the ballgame — senior brother John Henderson also recovering a fumble later in the contest.
Carlin’s second score came on the offensive side of the football in the second quarter, junior quarterback Chris George rushing for the Railroader’s final points of the game.
Smith Valley scored its frame high for points in the second period with 22, the Bulldogs opening a 36-12 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Bulldogs dominated the game and extended their lead to 48-12 with a 12-point third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Smith Valley scored an inconsequential touchdown with the outcome already on ice.
The Bulldogs blew out Carlin by a final score of 54-12.
Smith Valley junior quarterback Taylor Wulfing accounted for six touchdowns, throwing two and rushing for four more.
He finished 6-for-13 for 103 yards passing with two TDs and no picks, rushing six times for 93 yards and four TDs.
Returning kicks, Wulfing averaged 36.7 yards per return — racking up 220 yards on six — posting a long of 45 yards.
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Junior Jackie Sceirine led the Bulldogs with 94 rushing yards on 16 carries with a touchdown.
Junior Marco Covian also reached 90 yards on the ground in 12 attempts, scoring one touchdown.
He also returned a punt 60 yards.
In the passing game, junior Isaak Rowe caught two balls for a team-best 50 yards with a score — junior Alex Perez also snagging two passes for 27 yards and a TD.
Defensively, junior Dillon Gregg made an absurd 22 tackles — leading six Bulldogs with double-digit stuffs.
Senior Tristyn Cueva and junior Owen Streeter tallied 15 tackles apiece, Sceirine and junior Jesse Bomps each notched 13 stops and sophomore Vincent Scatena closed with 11 stuffs — two for losses.
Covian recovered a fumble.
“I don’t think we played to our potential. Obviously, we are trying to get better each and every week, but we didn’t play a good game against Smith Valley,” Thomsen said. “There was a lot to learn from the game and now we are focused on learning from our mistakes.”
Smith Valley improved to 2-0 on the season, dropping Carlin to 1-1.
The Railroaders will play their home opener against Tonopah (2-0) at 7 p.m. Friday, in Carlin.