By DAVE BELCHER
Moapa Valley Progress
No one could recall, going into Friday night’s game, when was the last time that Moapa Valley had beaten the Hurricane Tigers in Hurricane. Some felt it hadn’t ever happened before. Others remembered that the Pirates might have beaten the Tigers in 1994 21-20.
But it didn’t matter. By the end of last week’s game the only thing that mattered was a big win in Hurricane and how the Pirates air attack lifted the team to a 35-24 win. This is the third time in four games that the Pirates have beaten the rival from Utah.
“Anytime you can beat Hurricane in Hurricane that’s a feather in your cap,” said a very happy MVHS Head Coach Brent Lewis after the game.
The Pirates knew it was going to be tough trying to run the ball against a big Hurricane defensive line and a defense who packs the box. So the Pirates went to the air. Last week the Tigers gave up over 500 yards passing in their loss. Junior, Derek Reese used his 6 foot 4 inch height, over the smaller Tiger secondary, to catch seven passes for 227 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Hurricane scored the first touchdown on a 30 sweep. All night long the Tigers tried 2 point conversions.
Reece caught his first touchdown on a 7 yard pass from Pirate quarterback Daxton Longman. Then Braeden St. John, a junior, scored from 3 yards away on a dive up the middle.
Hurricane would regain momentum with a 44 yard run and 2 point conversion for a 16-14 lead.
The Pirates then moved the ball to the 1 yard line after a 10 yard pass to St John. Longman ran a sneak into the end zone to give the Pirates a 21-16 led.
Reese caught an 86 yard catch and run for a touchdown and followed that up after a Tiger fumble at the Pirate 20 yard line with an 80 reception for a touchdown on the first play.
Coby Longman ended the next Tiger drive with his interception with 6:48 to play in the game. Hurricane scored the final touchdown with just over 2 minutes to play on a pass.
Moapa Valley defense struggled in the first half but forced three fumbles and had an interception in the game, two fumble recoveries and the interception in the second half.
When the game had ended Moapa Valley had totaled 513 yards of total offense. Over the past two games for Hurricane the Tigers had given up over 1200 yards in their two losses.
The Pirates had 33 running plays for a total of 129 yards rushing and 33 passing plays for 384 yards in the air. Daxton Longman finished by throwing 31 passes completing 17 of them and throwing 3 touchdowns for 358 yards. Braeden St John ran the ball 14 times for 63 yards and a touchdown. Logan Jackson ran the ball 9 times for 33 yards. Longman scored one touchdown on the ground.
Hurricane was led on the ground by Tyler Moore who ran for 124 yards on 13 carries and 2 touchdowns. Jaron Cordova ran for 101 yards on 17 carries as Hurricane ran for 314 yards on 44 carries. The Tigers were 4-5 passing for 92 yards and a touchdown.
This Friday night Moapa Valley will return home and face possibly the toughest team on the schedule when Shadow Ridge comes to town. The Mustangs come into the game with a 2-0 record. In the Mustangs first game they beat Desert Oasis 47-6 including a 35-0 lead at half time. The freshman and JV play Thursday night while the varsity will play Friday night.