The Blue and Gold won’t have to worry about a repeat disappointment at the hands of the Miners.
Reed senior quarterback A.J. Silva threw three touchdowns in the first quarter, all to different receivers, as the Raiders kept their record unblemished against northern Nevada opponents with a 53-27 home victory over Manogue Friday night. In all, Silva contributed to five touchdowns on the night.
Reed started three drives in Miners territory in the first quarter and all led to touchdowns, Silva capped those drives with a 26-yard pass to Chad Gray, an 18-yard pass to Alex Young and a 19-yard pass to Devin Gray. However, Silva did miss his first two extra-point attempts, leaving Reed in a 19-0 lead with 1.4 seconds left in the first quarter.
While he hooked the two extra point misses, Silva overcompensated and missed wide right on a 31-yard field goal try in the closing seconds of the first half.
Still, the Raiders did put the ball in the end zone earlier in the second quarter to build a 26-0 edge they took into the locker room.
RHS senior running back John Covello busted through the left side of the line, juked back to the middle of the field and was off to the races on a 65-yard touchdown run at the 8:41 mark of the second quarter. Covello broke the 100-yard mark in the first half, racking up 101 yards on just six carries.
Reed’s defense held Manogue to 107 yards of offense in the first 24 minutes of play, while the offense accumulated 265 yards on 12 fewer plays from scrimmage.
The offensive stats were skewed toward the Miners in the second half, due largely in part to the Raiders running 11 offensive plays from scrimmage after the break compared to Manogue’s 51.
The visitors had the ball bounce their way as soon as the second half started. Reed’s Austin Polli muffed the opening kickoff and Manogue pounced on the ball at the RHS 21. Four plays later, the Miners made sure they would not be shut out when quarterback TJ Menning used misdirection on a screen play and connected with Kenny Rogers on an 8-yard touchdown pass. The PAT made it 26-7 barely a minute into the third quarter.
But Reed was king of the big play in the second half, scoring in all three facets of the game: offense, defense and special teams.
“The key to any game is you want to win all three phases of the game,” Reed football coach Ernie Howren said. “We were sloppy at times, but I felt we executed when we needed to execute and we did a lot of great things. I will take scores any way we can get them. If we’re going to score on special teams, and if we’re going to score on defense, we will take those every single time.”
Reed answered Manogue’s score by going 62 yards in just over a minute to take a 33-7 lead when Silva found Young for an 11-yard touchdown.
The Miners had their next drive stall, but during the punt, the Raiders were called for a penalty that extended Manogue’s possession, which ended in the end zone. The private Catholic school cut the deficit to 33-14 with 4:06 left in the third on a 2-yard quarterback sneak by Menning.
On the second play of the ensuing drive, Silva rattled off a SportsCenter worthy play. Silva went up the middle on the keeper, made a couple cuts to head to the right sideline. Instead of settling for a 20-yard run, Silva stopped on a dime and hopped back to the left, switching directions. He ran vertically on the field until he could get around the final defender and then outran everyone for a 70-yard touchdown run for a 40-14 score.
The Miners’ next possession started on their own 20 and it bridged the final three minutes of the third quarter and the first two minutes of the fourth as Joey Garrett caught a 6-yard touchdown pass, closing the gap to 40-21 with 10:19 to play in the game.
Then it was Reed’s special teams’ turn to get into the scoring act. Polli received the kickoff at the 4. He ran straight ahead down the right sideline. Polli looked like he would be wrapped up around the 25, but he broke a couple tackles and made his way toward the middle of the field. He had one player to beat, who had the angle on Polli. However, the Miner fell for Polli’s fake back toward the middle of the field and the Raider return man freed himself for his sprint down the left sideline for a 96-yard touchdown.
That left Reed in a 47-21 lead.
The Raiders’ defense put the final six points on the board. Five plays into Manogue’s next trip downfield, Spencer Stockton stepped in front of a Miner receiver and picked off a pass, returning it 44 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was no good, giving the home team a 53-21 lead.
“I loved how they kept fighting the entire game,” Howren said. “We did have a little bit of a roller-coaster ride here and there, and then we kind of got things going in the right direction.”
Manogue made the score a little more respectable by scoring with no time on the clock. The Raiders stopped the Miners at the 8, but a horse collar tackle and then a sideline penalty moved the ball down to the 2. Since games can’t end on a defensive penalty, Manogue got one last snap and made the most of it as backup QB MJ Farthing scampered into the end zone. The two-point conversion was stuffed for the final 26-point margin.
Reed (6-1, 5-0) is on the road at Reno Friday night.