By DAVE BELCHER
Moapa Valley Progress
The Chaparral Cowboys came to Overton on Friday night to claim something they had never claimed before: a victory over the Pirates and first place standing in the Sunrise Division of the Southern 3A. But it was not to be. With a close score throughout the game, the Pirate roared ahead in the last quarter and won the game, 28-14.
The game had a late start. During warm-up just prior to the start of the game, the stadium lights suddenly went dark. A trip to the electrical room found that a transformer may have blown causing the outage and threatening the game. Thirty minutes later after many of the valley’s best electricians came together to work the situation, they exited the small six by ten room and the lights began to flicker back on. The culprit was an exhaust fan on the roof of the concession and restrooms that tripped the main breaker.
The Pirates also got off to a slow start. The young Moapa line, made up of sophomores, struggled to make the blocks necessary to allow the offense to succeed. “We were missing and forgetting our blocking assignments,” said Head Coach Brent Lewis after the game. It took three quarters of the game to get the line in order. But once it was, the tide changed quickly for the Pirates.
“What a fourth quarter!” Lewis said referring to the three touchdowns the Pirates scored in the final eight minutes of the game.
Chaparral came out and were very aggressive. The Cowboys were a passing team last year; but this year had to turn to the ground attack having lost their quarterback to graduation.
The Cowboys started the game by scoring on their first series. On the fifth play Julius Hernandez found a seam and raced 46 yards for the touchdown. Dennis Perez kicked the extra point for the 7-0 Cowboy lead.
Pirates started their first series on offense after the kick-off placing the ball at the 19-yard line. A pass to Hayden Redd moved the ball to the Chaparral 35. A facemask moved the ball five more yards to the thirty.
Then Quarterback Daxton Longman threw an interception giving the Cowboys the ball back at the Chaparral 35.
That series stalled at the Pirate 30-yard line where the Cowboys sent Perez out to try a 52-yard field goal. It fell five yards short.
Moapa Valley moved the ball after a fourth and 15 from their 31 resulted in a Chaparral turnover on downs to the Chaparral 1 after a hit to the head penalty. Longman finished the drive with a keeper and Leo Rios’ extra point tied the game 7-7 where the score stood at halftime.
Chaparral would regain the lead midway through the third quarter when Sheilk Fofanah finished the drive with a one-yard run. Perez’s kick gave the Cowboys the lead 14-7 headed into the fourth quarter.
The Pirates moved the ball to the Chaparral 16 yard line. After an incomplete pass in the corner of the end zone, on fourth and eight from the 16 yard line. Bennett faked a hand-off up the middle, rolled left and threw back to Braeden St Johns on a screen who ran the 16 yards for the Pirate touchdown. Rios tied the game at 14-14 with his extra point.
On the following kick-off Chaparral fumbled the ball giving the Pirates a chance to score again deep in Cowboy territory. That possession ended with an incomplete pass in the left corner of the end zone on fourth and fourteen from the 18-yard line.
Moapa Valley would take the lead when St John ran a counter 26 yards for the game winner with 1:44 to play in the fourth.
Then Pirate defense held strong. Chaparral found themselves with fourth and 11 at the Pirate 9-yard line. Leo Rios sacked the quarterback.
In the next play, Redd took the hand-off left for a 9-yard touchdown, the final score.
Moapa Valley finished with 306 yards of total offense: 170 yards in the air and 136 yards on the ground on 40 carries. Bennet was 6-9 for 105 yards and a touchdown. Longman was 2-7 for 65 yards and one interception. Logan Jackson ran the ball 9 times for 51 yards. Redd finished with 15 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown.
This week the Pirates will host the Virgin Valley Bulldogs for the homecoming game Friday night. Coming off of a bye week, Virgin Valley has yet to play a league game this year. They are 4-2 this season and are led by Jayden Perkins who has 769 yards rushing with nine touchdowns. He is also their leading receiver with 13 catches for 376 yards and six touchdowns. Quarterback Cade Anderson is 31-54 passing for 694 yards, ten touchdowns and two interceptions.
Moapa Valley will try to bring the “Hammer” back home. The game will start at 7pm with pregame starting at 6:30 pm.
Get to the stadium early or you will be standing along the fence. JV and Freshman will play Wednesday at 4pm and 6:30. Go Pirates!!