SPRING CREEK — At the beginning of the season, Friday’s matchup between the visiting Lowry football team and hosting Spring Creek seemed to be one of the premiere ballgames — and still may be — but the Spartans’ hopes of winning the contest have been dramatically increased over recent weeks.
No. 5 Lowry, which started the season 4-0, is now 5-2 — going 1-2 over the last three in league — and was just blasted by Fernley at home by a final score of 45-19.
Sophomore quarterback Joseph Vankuiken up and moved the Boise, Idaho, in the middle of the season — leaving a huge void in the backfield — and junior backup Jordan Bills was said to be injured.
The Bucks did not report stats for the landslide loss to the Vaqueros, but Lowry was absolutely gutted on the ground — offense not the only problem — Fernley rushing for 440 yards and six touchdowns on 42 carries.
Fernley senior quarterback Julian McIntyre ran wild, racking up 245 rushing yards on just 12 attempts — scoring two times — also completing 3-of-5 passes for 80 yards and a TD with no interceptions.
Junior Traven Cassinelli ran six times for 52 yards and a pair of TDs, senior JR Reyes carried 12 times for 51 yards and a score and senior Emiliano Alonzo touched the ball twice for 12 yards and a TD.
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Without scoring, senior Austin Hobson’s four totes went for an impressive 64 yards.
The Bucks did force and recover one fumble.
Senior receiver Carson Kingston led the Vaqueros with two catches for 44 yards and a touchdown, and junior Rylan Cobbold’s lone snag gained 36 yards.
The Vaqueros mounted three sacks; paced by two from senior Gavin Pryor and another by senior Travis Kollar.
As did Lowry, Fernley also recovered a fumble — Reyes jumping on the loose ball.
The No. 4 Spartans will enter their final home game — also homecoming and senior night — with a 1-1 record in league play, needing wins at every stop to close the year to give themselves a spot in the playoffs.
Following a 28-14 road loss to open 3A North-East play, Spring Creek bounced back with a demolition of Dayton for its first league victory — blanking the winless Dust Devils by a final score of 54-0.
Senior Jacob Marizza ran for 137 yards with five touchdowns on 13 carries.
Junior quarterback Weston Petersen was 2-for-3 through the air for 132 yards and a touchdown with no INTs, also carrying twice for three yards and a TD.
Senior Kayden Boyle — who has moved to wide receiver from QB — accounted for all 132 receiving yards on two grabs with a 59-yard touchdown grab, also carrying once for 29 yards.
On his only carry, senior Johnny Slade broke off a 30-yard touchdown.
Senior Dylan Dunn continued to pace the Spartans’ defense with a team-high 13 tackles and four for losses, senior Keefer Campbell racking up 13 stops with 3.5 behind the line of scrimmage.
Juniors Klayten Piippo and Jerry Inama each finished with five tackles, and two of senior Josh Billat’s four stuffs occurred in the backfield.
The Spartans created lots of pressure, finishing with five sacks — Piippo making 1.5 sacks, Billat, Inama, and senior Kevin Davis adding one apiece and freshman Colin Banning earning a half-sack.
On special teams, senior Ian Russell — despite driving rain, slick ground and a wet football — was a perfect 5-for-5 on his extra points.
Senior Harry May went 1-for-2 on PATs.
The Spartans (3-2 overall, 1-1 in league) will host reeling Lowry (5-2 overall, 1-2 in league) at 7 p.m. Friday, in Spring Creek.