By DAVE BELCHER
Moapa Valley Progress
Wow! That’s the best word that can describe what happened on Friday night when the Virgin Valley Bulldogs came to Moapa Valley and beat the Pirates 26-14 in the MVHS Homecoming game.
It was the first win at Moapa Valley for the Bulldogs since 2007. That year Moapa Valley ended up winning the state championship over the Bulldogs who were the defending state champions.
Virgin Valley senior, Jayden Perkins was unstoppable. He dominated the Pirates as he ran the ball 20 carries for 214 yards. One of those was a 75-yard run on the third play of the game.
Moapa Valley answered back a few minutes later with their first touchdown of the game when Hayden Redd broke a 64-yard run of his own midway through the first quarter. After a Leo Rios extra point, the Pirates were up 7-6.
But Virgin Valley would soon regain the lead when Perkins ended a long Bulldog drive with a 5-yard touchdown run. A Lane Ramos kick gave the Dawgs a 13-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Virgin Valley had the lead at the end of each quarter.
Braedan St. John scored for the Pirates midway through the second quarter to give the Pirates a 14-13 lead.
That was just before Vicente Pinto scored again for the Bulldogs with a 34-pass reception from quarterback Cade Anderson. So the Dawgs lead 20-14 at halftime.
The only touchdown in the second half came when Perkins scored his third touchdown of the game, catching a 25-yard pass from Anderson.
Moapa Valley stalled out with long string of penalties. In the third quarter, after starting deep in Bulldog territory and fighting their way out, the Pirates ended up turning the ball over on downs.
Virgin Valley lost just one fumble and stayed motivated all game.
After the game and talking to a few players and coaches the Dawgs reportedly had felt insulted that they were chosen as Moapa Valley’s opponent for the Pirate homecoming. Then, of course, there was the senior parade float that was mentioned by several players and a coach: “100 years of Prohibiting Bulldog Wine-ing.” That definitely fueled the fire.
Virgin Valley Head coach Yori Ludvigson was happy for the win and stated, “It’s good to have the rivalry back.”
With the win, the Bulldogs are in sole possession of first place in the Sunrise league. They travel to Chaparral on Friday night with a chance to win the league crown and defend the title with a win.
Last year Virgin Valley beat Chaparral in the regular season, then lost to the Cowboys in the quarterfinals sending the Cowboys to the state semi-finals. Both games were in Virgin Valley.
Moapa Valley and Chaparral are each 1-1 in league play with the Pirates holding the tie breaker. The Pirates beat Chaparral 28-14 a couple of weeks ago.
Moapa Valley will travel for their final game of the regular season when they will play Del Sol this Friday night. Taarig Flowers who is a fast runningback leads the Dragons. He averages 8 yards a carry and has scored eight of the Dragons’ nine rushing touchdowns. Barry Williams is the leading receiver with 405 yards and eight touchdowns. Markell Turner has caught 23 balls for 307 yards and three touchdowns. Andre Navares is the Dragons quarterback who has thrown for 851 yards with 12 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions.
The Dragons have 2036 total yards this season and are 0-1 in league play. They have won just two games this year sitting with a 2-5 record.
Moapa Valley is hoping for a Chaparral win against Virgin Valley to put the league into a three-way tie.