By DAVE BELCHER
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley High School Football team came home with a 34-26 win over Del Sol on Friday night.
This put the Pirates in wait-and-see mode. With a loss for Virgin Valley at Chaparral last week, the Pirates needed the win against the Dragons to set them up to share the league championship and a possible first place seeding in the playoffs which start next week. But if the Bulldogs lose against Del Sol later this week, Moapa Valley would win the #1 seed from the Sunrise. With it would come possibly two home games in the regional playoff, avoiding a possible second round game at Desert Pines.
Last week, Moapa Valley used a second half rally to defeat the Dragons, erasing a 20-14 Dragons lead. The game started with a 58-yard pass to Del Sol’s Markell Turner with 7:48 to play in the first quarter. The 2-point conversion failed on an incomplete pass for a Dragon 6-0 lead.
Luke Bennett, who got the start for the second week in a row, scored from a yard away. And with Leo Rios’ extra point gave the Pirates a 7-6 lead with 4:20 to play in the first quarter.
Taariq Flowers took the handoff on the second play of the next Dragon possession and broke a 76-yard scoring run down the right sideline. This gave the Dragons a 12-7 lead after the 2-point conversion came short again.
Moapa Valley regained the lead when sophomore Trystin Lehman, who has seen some time on the varsity this year while spending most of his time with the JV, scored from 9-yards out with 5:19 to play in the first half. Rios kicked the extra point giving the Pirates a 14-12 lead.
Three minutes later Andre Navares scored from a yard away. The 2-point conversion pass to Maalik Flowers from Navares was complete to close the first half with the score at 20-12, Del Sol.
Lehman started the third quarter with a 14 yard touchdown run. This was followed by a Logan Jackson 20-yard touchdown run which gave the Pirates the lead for good.
Hayden Redd caught a 30-yard pass as Bennett found him wide open over the middle for a 34-20 Pirate lead.
Taariq Flowers broke another big run and scored from 53 yards away with 6:46 to play in the game. But the Dragons were unable to move the ball on their final possession giving the Pirates the win.
Lehman finished the game with 117 yards rushing scoring two touchdowns on 14 carries. Redd finished with 85 yards on 22 carries and caught 2 passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. Jackson finished with 78 yards on 11 attempts and a touchdown. Bennett had 10 carries for 18 yards and a touchdown.
Del Sol had 343 yards of total offense with 203 yards rushing and 142 yards passing. Taariq Flowers finished with 163 yards rushing with two touchdowns. Navares was 8 of 18 for 142 yards passing and a touchdown.
Moapa Valley will have a bye this week before hosting a playoff game next week. Their opponent is to be determined.
Del Sol will travel to Virgin Valley and can win the third seed with a win over the Dawgs.