It has been 12 years since a team from the south won the Class 2A state football championship, but that’s not necessarily bad news for The Meadows.
The Mustangs won that title in 2009. Their quarterback’s last name? Gosse.
The quarterback who will lead The Meadows into this year’s championship game is junior Sean Gosse, the brother of Garrett, who holds 2A records for passing yards and touchdown passes and played at Princeton.
The Mustangs will meet Yerington at 9 a.m. Thursday at Allegiant Stadium.
“Having the best triggerman on the field is always a good thing, and we have that with Sean (Gosse),” The Meadows coach Jack Concannon said. “His development process is ahead of schedule, but he’s the kind of guy that wants to be so far out in front and work so hard that he brings himself back down.”
Gosse showed nerves in the season opener, a 62-48 loss to Francis Parker (California), but he quickly settled into the leadership role that comes with being the quarterback.
That was the only loss for The Meadows (11-1). The Mustangs’ winning ways started in the spring. It was a short season, but they went 4-1, including a 4-0 record against their 2A Southern League opponents to win the league title.
Not bad for a team playing as an independent eight-man team two years ago.
“That helped our confidence level a lot coming into this season,” senior Cole Canteenwalla said. “It was a shortened season, but leading into this year, having those games of experience helped us come in stronger. We started working out over the summer right after the short season ended in May, and we’ve been practicing ever since.”
In Yerington (8-0), The Meadows will be playing a team known for its physicality and running game.
“If you look at the records since 2009, it’s been either Yerington or Pershing County that has won state,” Concannon said. “They’re a typical Yerington team. They’re going to run the ball right at you. Hopefully we’ll be able to withstand that and pull off some magic with our passing game and see if we can be in this thing.”
Gosse has fond memories of watching his brother Garrett lead the Mustangs to championships and dreamed of the time he would get a chance to play on the same field.
He will play at a much bigger venue at Allegiant Stadium than he’s used to, but he hopes to keep his routine as similar as possible despite the size of the stage and early start time.
“It’s a completely different routine,” Gosse said. “I usually take hours before the game to get locked in and to get set, but in the early-morning game, it could be tough to lock in. We can’t let ourselves lag behind. We have to be ready to go right at kickoff.”
State championship games
At Allegiant Stadium
The Meadows (11-1) vs. Yerington (8-0), 9 a.m.
Bishop Gorman (11-1) vs. McQueen (10-1), 12:20 p.m.
Silverado (11-0) vs. Shadow Ridge (9-2), 3:40 p.m.
Moapa Valley (11-0) vs. Virgin Valley (10-2), 7 p.m.
At Bishop Gorman
Pahranagat Valley (9-1) vs. Eureka (6-0), noon