One month and 13 days ago the Reed Raider football team was decimated by the Reno Huskies 39-0 at Reno High’s Foster Field. On a bright afternoon, on a neutral field, those memories were all part of what was a bad dream. Reed coach Tony Amantia and his team had said repeatedly that the shutout by Reno was part of the past and had no bearing on the 4A championship game, and boy were they correct.
The game started slowly with Reed converting their longest field goal of the year, a 31 yarder off the foot of Aiden Sawyer at the end of the first quarter. The teams shut down one another’s offense with aggressive defensive play. The key play of the second quarter was a fake punt by the Raiders that led to a halfback pass by Josiah Schmidt for 17 yards and a first down. A few plays later, Schmidt capped off the drive with a two yard touchdown run. Sawyer added the extra point and the Reed took a 10-0 lead into the locker room.
Reno, who won the coin toss and decided to defer, went to the strength of their offense, the running game, to begin the third period. The Huskies had just 17 offensive plays, compared to 33 for Reed in the first half. Brandon Kaho, who had 978 yards coming into the game, took over. He scored from 20 and 30 yards in the period to put his team on top 14-10.
After an offensive pass interference play, Reno punted and Reed put together their best sustained sequence of the day. They went 90 yards, capped by a one yard quarterback sneak by Cameron Emerson. Reno had good field position after the kick, but fumbled on the first play and the Raiders had the ball with plus yardage on the Huskie 45. George Moreno found a seam over his left side and went the 45 yards for the score. Sawyer, who came into the game having converted 61 of 65 extra point attempts, made it three in a row and a 24-14 lead.
Reno still had a chance with 3:25 to go. They drove inside Reed’s 10 yard line and quarterback Sawyer Jacksick found Keegan Feroah with a six yard touchdown pass, his first of the year. The extra point was good and it was a 3 point game. The onside kick was bobbled by the Raiders but recovered with less than 30 seconds remaining. After a kneel down, the celebrating began on the visitor’s side.
The first time the two teams met it was all Reno after the first quarter. Reed looked like a beaten, disheartened team. This time both teams gave everything they had and when it was over the fans had seen two outstanding programs leave it all on the field.
Next week Reed will play Bishop Gorman at noon time on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno at Mackay Stadium. Gorman stopped Liberty, 45-13 to win the southern crown. The Gaels have won 10 straight games since losing two of their first three against nationally ranked teams. Those 10 games have been against all southern Nevada teams. Liberty’s 13 points are the most scored against Bishop Gorman by any Nevada team.
After Saturday’s game Coach Amantia said to the My 21 TV crew, “I’ll take a few hours to enjoy this one with the team, and then get in the film room to look at some ESPN film on Gorman”.