CHELSEA MONTES • Special to the Review-Miner
The 11 Mustang seniors stand on Yanni Field with their coaches. From left to right back row: Craig Tippens (coach), Daniel Reitz, Jordan Gentry, Logan Oberman, Mike Brooks (head coach), Nikita Pavlov, Jessy Gonzalez and Tom Brooks (coach). Kneeling front row – Colton Wanner, Victor Flores, Raul Rincon, Zeke Jackson, Agustin Lopez and Haydon Burrows.
CHELSEA MONTES • Special to the Review-Miner The 11 Mustang seniors stand on Yanni Field with their coaches. From left to right back row: Craig Tippens (coach), Daniel Reitz, Jordan Gentry, Logan Oberman, Mike Brooks (head coach), Nikita Pavlov, Jessy Gonzalez and Tom Brooks (coach). Kneeling front row – Colton Wanner, Victor Flores, Raul Rincon, Zeke Jackson, Agustin Lopez and Haydon Burrows.
The Pershing County Mustangs and Yerington Lions slugged it out in a close contest on Joe Yanni Field on Friday. 

The Mustangs were determined to send off 11 young men in a blaze of glory. It was senior night at PCHS and a season closer for both teams.

The Lions and Mustangs have combined to win every 2A state title since 2010. 

Pershing County  held the trophy from 2016 through 2018 when Yerington became the defending state champs. The rivalry played out on the field.

Ultimately, Pershing County  walked away with the 11-8 win  but Yerington put up a fight.

“They had a good game plan, and we had some plays we’d like to take back,” said Mike Brooks. “It’s always a tough battle with the Lions, and we knew they’d be ready to play.”

The first touchdown of the night came from Yerington about ten minutes into the first quarter. Justin Barnes rushed six yards to put points on the board.

The 2-point conversion was good, bringing the tally to 8-0, with the Mustangs trailing. 

In the second quarter, with nine minutes to go, Raul Rincon rushed a four-yard touchdown for the Mustangs. Jessy Gonzalez (#6) handled the two-point conversion, tying the score up at eight.

At the half, announcer Steve Evenson and the spirit squad whipped up the crowd. 

People on top of the grandstand danced to Twisted Sister’s “We’re not gonna take it anymore.” 

In the second half, Lovelock’s home crowd witnessed a slugfest with neither side willing to give up an inch of territory. Each team faced the added hurdle of playing a fall sport in April, as temperatures hovered in the seventies.

“The heat wasn’t too bad for them, but we made sure they were well hydrated,” said the coach.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the ambulance sped off with sirens wailing. Someone in town needed medical attention. 

A Sacramento man allegedly led the police on a high-speed chase through residential neighborhoods before flipping his car on I-80, after which he attempted to flee on foot.

Unfortunately, a Yerington player sustained an injury toward the end of the ball game. The spirit squad knelt on the sidelines as he got up under his own power and walked off the field, apparently unhurt.

Meanwhile, Rincon intercepted the Lion’s efforts to score, picking off Jacob Preston’s pass. Diego Gonzalez kicked in a field goal with under 30 seconds left to play, resolving the tie in the Mustang’s favor (11-8). 

Fans watching from the parking lot due to Covid restrictions honked their horns.

The Lions tried to put those 30 seconds to use, but Rincon pulled off another interception to seal the win.

The Mustangs end their 2021 season undefeated (6-0). They’ve been playing ball together since their Pop Warner days, and it shows on the field.

Eight players stepped up from JV to help: Blake Burrows, Noel Zaldivar, John Foughty, Brian Kauvaka, Nikolas Jimenez, Wyatt Diaz, Wyatt Myers and Seth Provstgaard.

They joined eight juniors and 11 seniors. The juniors included Devin Moura, Esteban Vidrio, Diego Gonzalez, Ashton Nolf, Mariano Gomez, Ulises Corona, Jose Jimenez and Brayden Wagner.

The seniors are Nikita Pavlov, Jessy Gonzalez, Agustin Lopez, Raul Rincon, Colton Wanner, Haydon Burrows, Logan Oberman, Daniel Reitz, Victor Flores, Jordan Gentry and Zeke Jackson. 

Red and black balloons and posters with each of their names decorated the bleachers. From here, most go on to baseball or track and field for six-week seasons.

But first they celebrated on the field with their coaches: Mike and Tom Brooks and Craig Tippens. The 2021 Pershing County Mustangs got their blaze of glory.