By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
No matter what level, when Virgin Valley and Moapa Valley football hit the field, there are always sure to be sparks flying. In the B and JV Pirate matchups, the results were no different than anticipated.
In the freshman level game, the Pirates didn’t get off to the start they’d hoped for on their home field. Despite a lackluster performance in the first half, Moapa still trailed just 14-7 at the halftime break.
Head coach Stuart Humes was disappointed in the team’s effort through one half, saying they did not play very well at all. In the second half, the Pirates got things started with a Garrett Clove fumble recovery.
Clove turned the momentum of the game. Just one play later he caught a deep pass from QB Cameron Reese for a touchdown to make the score 14-13. Both sides would battle back and forth for much of the second half, but the Pirates still trailed by one point.
With time draining off the clock, Cameron Reese quarterbacked his team down the field and into the redzone with under a minute left. The Pirates ran a play action pass, and Reese found his runningback Steele Skinner in the endzone for the go ahead Moapa touchdown. Humes said the team hadn’t ran the play before, but they ran it to perfection.
Now leading 21-14, Moapa turned possession over to Virgin Valley. The Bulldogs needed a score in less than a minute to stay alive.
A pass thrown behind the line of scrimmage was dropped and ruled a backwards pass. Justin Proffit recovered for the Pirates and ran it the rest of the way for a touchdown to put the icing on the cake. The Pirates would win 28-14, in thrilling fashion.
“This says they’re able to rise to the challenge,” Humes said. “We challenged them at halftime to be a little smarter and more willing to make a play for their team. The boys came out like champs and showed us that they understood how to come out and make adjustments. We were proud of their effort in the second half.”
As for what was different from half to half on both sides of the ball, Humes added, “We gave Cam a little more time to throw. The offensive line was blocking and we were able to get the running game going and complete some flat passes to spread their defense out. It was a little bit of everything. Defensively, we were more focused on trying to make plays.”
As for the JV team: they might not have had the theatrics put on by the B squad, but their celebrations were just as triumphant. Leading 18-0 by the time of the halftime intermission, the Pirates didn’t let up there.
Shortly into the third quarter, Will Uri scored on a screen pass to make the score 26-0.
With 4:23 on the scoreboard in the same period, Kashten Frei launched a deep pass to Luke Barlow, who hauled it in and made it to the endzone for a 52 yard Pirates touchdown.
Following another score just ten seconds into the fourth, the clock began running and Moapa would win it 40-0.