By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley High School Flag Football team began its season with a busy week featuring two early pre-season home games as well as a very difficult tournament in Mesquite.
The first game of the week came at home against the Legacy Longhorns. The Pirates hoped to get their season started on a high note hosting Legacy in a game the Pirates had anticipated for a while. But the Pirates didn’t get out to the start they had hoped for.
Late in the second quarter, the Longhorns led 13-0. However, Jessica Leon of the Pirates hauled in a receiving touchdown from QB Alex Peay to cut the lead to 13-6 with thirty seconds on the clock in the first half.
Legacy would score early in the second half to extend their lead to two scores once again.
Trailing 20-6, Lexi Schraft brought in a receiving touchdown with just under a minute left to narrow the score. But it was too little, too late. The Pirates fell in their first home game, 20-12.
Just a day later, the team took the field at home once again, this time taking on the Rancho Rams. Moapa didn’t start strongly. At the half, the Rams were leading the Pirates 7-0.
But in the second half, the Pirates went on quite the run. A bizarre tipped pass, thrown 20 yards downfield, fell into the arms of Maxime Van der Laan on third and long for a touchdown of over 40 yards. With this score, the Pirates would have the game tied at 7-7.
Just one play later, the Moapa defense wanted in on the action. Lexi Schraft intercepted a pass and returned it back for a touchdown of her own to make it 14-7.
One play after that, Christie Eriksen joined the turnover party with another interception. It was becoming an absolute come apart for visiting Rancho. The Pirates drove down and capped off the drive with an Alex Peay QB draw play for a one yard score.
Leading 20-7 late in the game, the Pirates scored one more for good measure as Eriksen grabbed a pass in the back of the endzone. The final score would be 26-7, as the Pirates sealed their first win of the season.
“It showed we can play the game when we catch the ball,” MVHS head coach Dave Belcher said.
In their tournament over the weekend in Mesquite, the Pirates took on tough opponents. The team was scheduled to play SECTA and Virgin Valley, both teams that were in the state tournament last season.
In the game with SECTA, the Roadrunners led the Pirates 12-6 at the half, as the Pirates kept the score close. But SECTA would eventually jump out to a lead and win by a final score of 25-12.
Later that day, Moapa took on Virgin Valley and the dominant Bulldogs protected their home field. A big win 24-6 for Virgin Valley surely did not sit well with the Pirates, and they’ll get an opportunity to get back at them in league play in a few weeks.
Belcher said of the tournament, “We played four games in 16 hours which gave the girls some much needed experience.”
The Pirates go on the road this week with two games against Mojave and Clark this Wednesday and Friday.