By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
With their season at a crossroads, the Moapa Valley High School Flag Football team needed wins last week to keep the season alive. Hoping to not miss out on a playoff spot for the second straight season, despite an immensely talented roster, the Pirates faced a tough challenge. They had no less than three games on the schedule in one week, one of which against their Virgin Valley rivals.
Before the Pirates could get a shot at the rolling Bulldogs, they’d have a meeting with Del Sol. In the previous game between the two, the Dragons came into Moapa Valley and were unstoppable. They were able to score relentlessly and held Moapa to just six points on their home field.
This time around, points didn’t come quite as easy, even though the matchup was played in enemy territory for the Pirates.
As halftime rolled around, itwas a far different story than perhaps the home side expected. Thanks to a touchdown pass from Alex Peay to Alexis Schraft, Moapa jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Their defense rode the momentum of their three-turnover performance against SECTA the week prior by leaving a goose egg on the scoreboard for the Dragons.
However, after a few halftime adjustments, Del Sol found a way to get through the Pirate defense. The solution was getting Stephanie Tewart going. The Dragons’ quarterback tossed a pair of scores and rushed for one as well. Del Sol rallied to halt Moapa’s potential upset and grabbed a 19-6 victory.
The story was unfortunately similar to one the Pirates have seen written in previous games this season. “Almost” was a word the team has tried to shed off of their resumé.
On Wednesday, the Pirates hosted the Bulldogs of Virgin Valley, a team with aspirations higher than just making the playoffs. Virgin Valley has their sights set on a state title. An opportunity to make that road a bit bumpier was one the Pirates didn’t take lightly.
Despite a string of lopsided losses to the Bulldogs this season, this game had MVHS looking to turn the tides. While they couldn’t change the result in the win-loss column this time around, the scoring differential deteriorated by a great number.
After 280 yards of passing and four touchdown strikes for junior quarterback Alex Peay, Moapa hung around in a game they were expected to be out of in the early minutes. A final score of 38-24 was a sign of improvement. Though it may not have been exactly what they wanted, it was a moral victory the team couldn’t take for granted.
In their last game of the week, the Pirates played with their season’s future on the line. In need of a regular season win to bolster their shots at a playoff berth, Moapa Valley headed into Las Vegas to take on the Chaparral.
The Cowboys had narrowly beat the Pirates by just a point not long ago. And the Pirates would have another nail-biter on their hands with this one.
Once again, Moapa Valley stood just one score from getting a victory but fell short. This time around, the final score would sit at 18-12. This was courtesy of two long touchdown passes by the Cowboys late in the game.
It was another tough loss to swallow, as this one nearly sealed the fate of the season. But the Moapa Valley Pirates are expected to play to win no matter what as the season winds down, with just two games left on schedule.