By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley B and JV football teams both hosted Shadow Ridge last week for their third home games of the season. Going into theAse games, the Pirates knew it would be a tough matchup against a sizable school like Shadow Ridge that boasts over 2,600 students. Moapa came into the game fighting as hard as possible.
In the freshman game, the Mustangs struck in the opening quarter, jumping to an 8-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter, the Mustangs added to their lead with a four yard touchdown run on fourth and goal. But on the Pirates’ following trip up the field, with the Shadow Ridge pass rush effectively rushing the QB, Moapa ran a flawless screen pass to Rolando Villareal. Villareal took the completion 28 yards for a score.
“We felt like the screen was a great call because their defensive line was aggressive and it seemed to work in our favor,” said MVHS head coach Stuart Humes. “They executed it to perfection.”
The two sides traded touchdowns after that. The Pirates’ score came at the tail end of a long drive where the Moapa passing game was catching fire. Cameron Reese’s completions to Justin Proffitt and Garrett Clove set the Pirates into opponent’s territory. Ryan Allen caught a 22 yard touchdown to bridge the gap to 20-12. The Pirates would trail 34-12 at the half following two highlight touchdown catches by the Mustangs.
In the second half, both teams sent out a stout defensive effort. Towards the end of the third quarter, Moapa Valley finally broke through, as Ryan Allen grabbed a leaping touchdown from the arm of Reese for his second of the game, making the score 34-18. The Pirates scored once more, a Carson Heiselbetz touchdown on the final play of the game. But the Pirates ended up falling short by a score of 40-24.
“One of the things you look for is whether or not they’re willing to take a stand when someone is trying to impose their physical will on you,” Humes said. “At the beginning of the game, I didn’t feel like we did that. But I felt like over the course of the game we started to fight back.”
The JV team struggled to get going against a very talented and athletic Mustang opponent. Two early touchdowns for the Mustangs were a disappointment for the Pirates, but they responded with a pass completion that turned around momentum. Kashten Frei completed a slant route to Luke Barlow, who ran the remaining 50 plus yards up field for a touchdown, closing the gap to 14-7.
Although the touchdown was a confidence builder for the Pirates, the Shadow Ridge athletes ultimately outmatched Moapa Valley and were able to build a big lead in the first half. They led 42-7 in the second quarter. But the Pirates defense held tough for the final two and a half quarters, keeping the lead the same and the final score would remain 42-7.