WELLS – Scoring 52 points will win a lot of football games but not when a team allows the opponent to hang 70 on the scoreboard.
A porous defense, five interceptions and three fumbles doomed Wells at home Friday night.
Tonopah, junior quarterback Dillan Otterson, senior running back Brandon Scobee and senior receiver Kevin Pope marched up and down the field on the Leopards, downing Wells by a final score of 70-52.
Otterson opened the scoring with 8:32 remaining in the first quarter with a five-yard touchdown pass to Pope.
The conversion was unsuccessful, but there they went again.
With 8:03 on the clock, Pope reeled in his second touchdown catch of the game, a 39-yard strike from Otterson – just 29 seconds removed from their first hookup in the end zone.
The conversion failed, but the Muckers jumped to a 12-0 lead.
With 6:33 remaining in the first, Wells found the board with a connection of 36 yards from senior quarterback Zane Rodriguez to junior Jared Martinez – the duo combining once again for the two-pointer.
Tonopah booked its third touchdown of the opening period with a nine-yard pass from Otterson to junior Koby Bunker.
Wells pulled to within a deuce with 9:52 on the clock in the second quarter, coming on a three-yard rush by Rodriguez.
The conversion was added on a completion to sophomore Riley Stewart, the Leopards trailing 18-16.
Wells’ defense came up with a huge play, grabbing the lead a little more than a minute later.
A forced fumble by junior Angel Salazar was picked up by senior Enrique Aguilar, who went the distance, the 70-yard return and the conversion by Martinez giving the Leopards a 24-18 lead.
Tonopah went the down the field and scored on a one-yard plunge by Scobee, Bunker receiving the conversion – the Muckers pulling ahead 26-24 with 5:38 remaining in the half.
With four minutes on the clock, Scobee galloped for a 50-yard rushing touchdown.
Otterson ran for the two-pointer himself, giving Tonopah a 10-point lead at 34-24.
The dagger came with 1:51 before the break, Otterson launching a 53-yard bomb to Pope.
At halftime, the Muckers had nearly doubled up the Leopards at 42-24.
Things really got out of reach with 9:51 remaining in the third.
Scobee nearly went the length of the field, gashing Wells with a 95-yard touchdown run.
Pope received the conversion from Otterson, opening a 50-24 advantage.
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After a turnover, Wells took the ball right back.
Aguilar picked off a pass and raced 30 yards to the house – pulling Wells to within 20 at 50-30 with 8:27 on the clock.
Every time the Leopards made a push, Tonopah found an answer.
With 4:33 remaining in the third, Scobee dashed an extended-40 yards, cashing in from 48-yards out for a 56-30 lead.
Following Aguilar’s lead, Rodriguez intercepted a pass with 23 ticks left on the clock, scoring on the pick-six from 15 yards and bringing the deficit down to 20 once again.
The Leopards gave themselves a chance early in the fourth quarter, Martinez scoring from two yards and Rodriguez running for the conversion with 11:33 on the clock.
With 8:21 remaining, Martinez bulled in from a yard away, another Rodriguez conversion slicing the lead to four at 56-52.
Tonopah would not be denied, Scobee scoring his fifth rushing touchdown of the game on a seven-yard carry with 5:28 remaining.
Wells’ last-ditch effort – down by 10 with 1:03 on the clock – ended in disarray, Pope picking off a pass and taking it to the end zone.
Tonopah scored 10 touchdowns – five on the ground, four through the air and the game-clincher on an interception return – the Muckers rolling to a 70-52 victory in Wells.
The Muckers racked up 901 yards of total offense.
Otterson finished 23-for-36 for 469 yards through the air with four touchdowns, despite tossing three picks – two of which were returned for TDs.
He also rushed 10 times for 100 yards.
Of the Muckers’ 429 yards rushing, 279 came on 17 carries from the legs of Scobee – who scored five touchdowns on the ground.
Pope caught nine passes for 224 yards – including three touchdown receptions and one defensive interception return – and Bunker snagged a game-high 11 balls for 231 yards and a score.
Rodriguez completed 18 of 40 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown for Wells, but the Tonopah defense came down with five interceptions.
He carried the rock 11 times for 99 yards and a score, also scoring on a pick-six.
Aguilar led Wells with nine catches for 141 yards, also collecting two Tonopah passes and taking one INT for a touchdown – adding a fumble return for another score.
He was everywhere on defense at linebacker, flying around for a game-high 22 tackles – including two for losses.
Rodriguez made 11 stops on defense from his safety position.
Martinez scored two rushing touchdowns but was limited to 10 yards on six carries, catching five passes for 88 yards and another TD.
Stewart made four receptions for 51 yards.
After getting out-gunned by a Division 1A Central opponent, Wells (1-1) will look to rebound in another non-conference contest at 2 p.m. Friday, in Sparks, facing Division 1A Northern-West Excel Christian.
The Warriors are coming off a 69-22 victory over Owyhee, which did not report stats.