Any worries that the Basic football team’s offense wouldn’t be able to match last year’s production were quickly put to bed Thursday.
Well the offense passed the first test of the season, anyway.
The Wolves exploded for 536 yards offense and six Basic players scored in a 52-28 home victory over Cheyenne in Southern Nevada’s first football game of the season.
Senior receiver Zack Grismanauskas was the star for the Wolves, throwing for a 58-yard touchdown on an end-around on the game’s first play, hauling in a 69-yard touchdown reception and pulling down an interception.
“He played great, especially in the first half he was all over the place,” Basic coach Jeff Cahill said.
He finished with 125 yards on four catches.
“I have to give a lot of credit to my quarterback,” Grismanauskas said. “We built this bond over the summer and I feel like I’ll get some more receptions later on.”
Not much went wrong for the Wolves when they had the ball. Making the first start of his career, sophomore quarterback Paul Myro was 15-for-25 for 242 yards and a touchdown. He completed passes to eight players, rushed for a 3-yard touchdown.
“I think he did a great job,” Cahill said. “He had two interceptions but they both hit the receivers hands and popped into the air. I thought he played great today.”
What made Thursday different from Basic’s 2016 games was the ground attack. Last year Dorian McAllister led the Wolves with 263 yards rushing and as a team, and they ran for just 14 touchdowns all year. Thursday night alone McAllister rushed for 70 yards, 27 percent of last year’s total, and the team scored five touchdowns on the ground.
Basic junior running back Trace Evans led the way with 77 yards and also scored a touchdown. Coaches in the postgame huddle credited the rushing game to the offensive line, a unit that did not allow a sack.
The defensive side of the ball is where the Wolves struggled. Cheyenne senior running back Clarence Rose rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown, and quarterback Joshua Rose threw for 242 yards and a touchdown. Part of the issue was a lengthy delay when a Cheyenne player was hurt in the third quarter. The Wolves led 42-14 at the time and Cahill said that sapped the adrenaline from his players.
“We kind of lost our energy,” Cahill said. “We’ve got a long way to go.”
Basic did make some big plays on defense, including two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a sack.