By DAVE BELCHER
Moapa Valley Progress
That’s a wrap!
The Moapa Valley High School football season came to an abrupt halt on Friday night when the Pirates lost their first playoff home game since 1993 to the Sunrise Mountain Miners 30-28.
It was quite a night! The game started with the Pirates taking a 14-0 lead and they looked to have that lead heading in to halftime. Sunrise quarterback Tyre Hayes was struggling in the first half throwing a lot of balls into the ground and missing his receivers.
The Miners’ offense continued sputtered until 2 minutes left to play in the first half. That’s when they moved the ball into Pirate territory and finished the drive. Trayvon Ward ran up the Miners sideline 32 yards for a touchdown to go into the locker room down, 14-7.
That would be the first of three unanswered drives the Miners would take. Sunrise Mountain passed and ran to the Pirate 24 where they were facing fourth down. Then Victor Serrano came onto the field kicking a field goal, just clearing the cross bar and cutting the Pirate lead to 14-10.
On the next Miners drive, they looked unstoppable. They passed for short yardage and found their way to the Pirate 11 yard line. Ward then scored his second touchdown of the night, an eleven yard run, giving the Miners the lead and adding a point after for a 17-14 Miners lead.
Moapa Valley came back on their next possession. It was Logan Jackson, the hard running senior fullback, who took a handoff on a dive up the middle. He ran over a Miner, then outran two defenders to the end zone in a 43-yard sprint. This gave the Pirates the lead again with 5:29 to play in the third quarter: 21-17 after the Leo Rios extra point.
But it took just under three minutes for the Miners to reestablish the lead for good. Te’andre Love broke away from a Pirate defensive back where Hayes found him five yards in front of any Pirate. He hit him with a beautiful pass ending 62 yards away for the Miner touchdown. Serranto missed the extra point giving the Miners a 23-21 lead.
The next Moapa Valley drive ended with a three and out.
The Miners then used a big play. Love broke a tackle after a reception and sprinted down the Miners sideline 55 yards for another touchdown. Serrano’s extra point kick went through the uprights giving the Miners lead at 30-21 with 11:47 to play in the game.
The Pirates cut the lead to two points when Luke Bennet found Derek Reese in the back of the end zone. Reese went high to pull it down and stayed in bounds for the touchdown. Rios kicked the extra point and Moapa Valley trailed by two with 2:01 to play.
The onside kick was recovered by the Miners at the fifty-yard line. The Pirates held the Miners to three and out and, using timeouts to preserve time on the clock, forced a punt. The ball bounced into the end zone.
A bobbled snap to Bennett had him pick up the ball and run to the 29-yardline, just a yard short of the first down. Hayden Redd carried the ball for the first, plus some, to the Pirate 42. Bennett completed another pass a couple of yards short of the first down on the Miners sideline.
But the play came back with a Pirate holding call. Bennett was sacked on the next play at the 14-yard line after which he spiked the ball to stop the clock.
The final play came with a Bennett pass well short of the first down turning the ball over on downs and ending the Pirates season.
Sunrise Mountain finished with 436 yard of total offense: 276 yards from passing and 160 yards on the ground. The Miners quarterback Tyree Hayes finished 12-30 in pass with two touchdowns and an interception. Trayvon Ward ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
Bennett was 10-22 for 117 –yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Hayden Redd ran the ball 15 times for 70 yards. Logan Jackson scored one touchdown and ran the ball nine times for 67 yards. Tristan Lehman scored the first touchdown of the game and finished with six carries for 25-yards.
Moapa Valley finished with 284-yards of total offense, 167 rushing and 117 passing. The Pirates lose ten to graduation this year and will return most of the team next season.
It was shorter than normal this year, but it has been enjoyable watching these young men perform. Go Pirates!