Nevada off to 2-0 start after winless 2019 campaign
The Tigers are 2-0 after beating Hollister 31-6 last week.
NEVADA, Mo. – The Nevada Tigers are just two weeks into the season, and they are already one of the best comeback stories of 2020.
“It’s a great start, but we’re set on trying to improve and keep things going,” says head coach Wes Beachler.
The Tigers are 2-0 to start the season, beating Logan-Rogersville 38-26 in week one and Hollister 31-6 in week two. Nevada was 0-10 last season and 1-9 in 2018. Their week one win over Logan-Rogersville snapped a 16-game losing streak.
“We had so many injuries last year, and our numbers were down,” Beachler says, “We had a lot of young guys playing. It was a bit of a frustrating year for everybody. We executed well at times, but we were just so young. Snapping that losing streak in week one probably helped lift some of that weight off of our guys’ shoulders.”
Both sides of the ball are getting it done so far this year for Nevada. Offensively, Beachler credits the offensive line for leading the way the first two weeks.
“Overall, our offensive line is greatly improved,” Beachler says of the guys in the trenches, “They have more work to do, but they’re so much more confident and aggressive than last year. They’ve been solid.”
That offensive line has been good, and senior Kaden Denney has been a big beneficiary of their work. Denney suffered a season-ending injury after just one game in his junior year in 2019. He’s back healthy this season, and has posted 20 carries for 324 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games.
On the other side of the ball, confidence for the Nevada defense is growing by the week. The Tigers allowed just 6 points to Hollister in week two, the first time they’ve held an opponent to single digits since 2017.
“Our defensive unit is so much better than last year,” Beachler says, “They got some great experience last year. Their confidence is up. The last two weeks we’ve had teams get inside the 5-yard line and we’ve been able to turn them over on downs. Stuff like that gives them more confidence.”
The schedule for Nevada will continue to get tougher, starting this Friday against defending Class 3 runner-up Cassville.
“Cassville is always good,” Beachler says of the Wildcats, “We know they’re going to be well-coached and they’re going to be ready.”
Regardless of how the rest of the schedule plays out, Nevada seems to have turned the corner after going just 1-19 the previous two years. They’ve learned how to win, and more importantly, created energy and expectations within the program.
“I think our enthusiasm is good, and the guys are grounded knowing there’s a lot of football left to play,” Beachler finishes, “We have a good group of seniors who aren’t going to just be happy with two wins. This year’s senior group has a totally different approach to practice. They hold each other accountable and they’re more focused. If that continues, we’ll continue to be competitive.”