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Nevada vs UNLV final score: Rebels Win Back Fremont Cannon

Tony Sanchez is not messing around at UNLV

The Cannon will not be silver and blue much longer
The Cannon will not be silver and blue much longer
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

The Fremont Cannon has exchanged hands, as the UNLV Runnin' Rebels (2-3) beat the Nevada Wolf Pack 23-17 (2-3) at Mackay Stadium in Reno. It is UNLV's second consecutive victory in Reno, and head coach Tony Sanchez's first MWC win.

UNLV received the opening kick-off, and their offense didn't need any time to get going. The Rebels marched straight down the field, and scored on a 31-yard touchdown run from Keith Whitely.

Although they had no trouble moving the ball, UNLV couldn't get any more points on the board in the 1st quarter, thanks to an interception by freshman CB Dameon Baber. The pick was Baber's 3rd INT in the last 2 games, and stopped a dangerous UNLV drive.

However, the Wolf Pack could do nothing on offense.

With a stagnant offense, the Wolf Pack had to rely on their defense to keep them in the game, and the D was up to the challenge.

At the end of the first half, Nevada went into a two-minute drill and seemed to have gotten their offense going. Two penalties quickly killed the drive, however, and the Rebels got the ball back with a little over a minute left.

The Rebels started an impressive drive down the field, when QB Blake Decker went down with an apparent left shoulder injury. Backup QB Kurt Palandech entered the game, and threw a strike down the sideline to Kendal Keys. The next play, Palandech ran it 12 yards into the endzone, and the Rebels went into halftime leading 13-0. It was the first time the Wolf Pack had been shutout in the first half since 2012.

The shutout would not last long, as the Pack received the opening kickoff and used the hurry-up offense to move for the field. The Rebels played bend-but-don't-break and were able to hold the Wolf Pack to a field goal.

On the ensuing kickoff, Brian Polian called an onside kick, and managed to catch UNLV off-guard. Regardless, the Rebels were able to recover the kick, and started with good field position. The Nevada defense stood tall, and forced a three and out. In doing so, the Pack got their home crowd back into the game.

Defense took over for the rest of the third quarter, and the down-south Nevada team lead the up-north Nevada team 13-3 going into the fourth quarter.

With time winding down, the Wolf Pack needed a scoring drive. Nevada drove down the field behind James Butler and Don Jackson, before Tyler Stewart found Jerico Richardson in the endzone to cut the UNLV lead to 3.

After UNLV went 3-and-out, the Wolf Pack offense came out with a chance to tie the game or take the lead. But the Rebels' defense came up big and Ryan McAleenen intercepted Tyler Stewart and returned it to the house to give UNLV the 20-10 lead.

The Pack didn't panic, and took the ball down the field and finished off the drive with a 1-yard TD run by Don Jackson to make it a 20-17 game. The Pack got the ball back and started driving again, but stalled near midfield. On fourth down, with just over two minutes left, Tyler Stewart hit Kameron Richardson on the sideline, but it was dropped.

UNLV was stopped on three plays, but managed a field goal to stretch the lead to 6. The Wolf Pack got the ball back with 1:53 left on their own 20. Nevada drove the ball to the UNLV 40, but could not complete the comeback, as the Rebels defeated the Wolf Pack, 23-17. The Fremont Cannon will return to Las Vegas and will be painted red.