By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
The MVHS Freshman (B) and JV football teams both hoped to win their second straight home game with a league matchup against the Cowboys of Chaparral last week.
The Pirate freshmen came out first, and their game was a close one. In the first quarter, Chaparral scored on a 58 yard passing touchdown with just over four minutes on the clock. The Pirates needed a response.
That response would come early in the second quarter, as Steele Skinner rushed for an eight yard touchdown for Moapa to give the Pirates a 7-6 lead. With 5:25 left in the second quarter, Chaparral would toss another passing touchdown to make it 12-7, despite a few penalties on the drive.
On the ensuing possession, Skinner brought back a kick return to the Cowboys’ 15 yard line. There, Cameron Reese would find Carson Heiselbetz in the endzone on the first play of the possession. The score would be 13-12.
Chaparral responded with a long kick return of their own, and a 35 yard rushing touchdown on their own first down.
The game continued to trade touchdowns. The score was 18-13 in favor of the visitors when Skinner capped off a long Pirates drive with a 2 yard rushing touchdown. It would be 19-18 at the half.
In the second half, midway through the third quarter, Reese completed a pass to Garrett Clove to extend Moapa’s lead to 25-18.
In the fourth quarter, Skinner scored his third touchdown of the afternoon punching in a goal line score with 6:46 left on the game clock.
But Chaparral hadn’t yet gone away. With three and half minutes left, the Cowboys runningback rushed the ball all the way to one sideline, reversed field, and scored on the other end to make it a one possession game.
With a solid lead, the Pirates commanded the rest of the game by pounding the ball in the running game and winding down the clock. They’d win it 32-24.
“At the beginning of the game we were struggling defensively,” said Pirate head coach Stuart Humes. “But in the second half we started making tackles and getting to the football.”
The JV team followed, and performed to the best of their ability. The Pirates were led by QB Kashten Frei who had a stellar game.
In the first quarter, he punched the ball into the endzone on a quarterback sneak to go up 8-0. The Cowboys drove into the redzone but fumbled inside the Moapa five yard line. Towards the end of the first half, Frei rushed for his second touchdown from 25 yards out, dodging tackles all the way through. The score would be 15-0 at half.
In the second half, the Cowboys made it 15-6 with a passing touchdown, and a Pirates turnover on the next possession changed momentum.
But Moapa grabbed the momentum right back. Carson Traasdahl intercepted a pass, and caught a touchdown of his own just two plays later in the back of the endzone. The score would be 22-6 late in the third quarter.
Then Frei rushed for his third touchdown of the day, this time from the 14-yard line.
A Will Uri touchdown late in the fourth completed the game and the Pirates would win 35-6.
Frei finished with four total touchdowns combined: on the run and with his arm.
“It was his best running game of the year, and he had a nearly perfect game throwing,” said Pirate head coach Dallas Larsen. “That was a fun game to coach when your quarterback is doing everything he’s supposed to.”
Both teams host the Bulldogs in an exciting rivalry showdown this week. “There’s no state championships in JV football, so beating Virgin Valley could be the highlight of the year,” Larsen said.