It was a game of big plays for the undefeated Boulder City High School Eagles as they spoiled homecoming activities for their hosts, Virgin Valley High School Bulldogs, winning 15-12 on a last second field goal Friday night in the ‘Dawg Pound. The Eagles overall record went to 6-0 while the Bulldogs fell to 4-2.
The Eagles knew they were in for a dogfight on their first possession as the ‘Dawgs defense forced a four possession and out. The Eagles punted from the 50 yard line and the ball fell dead on the Bulldogs three yard line. Three plays later the ‘Dawgs were forced to punt. Garrett Leavitt got a good roll on the punt to the Eagles 42 yard line. Three running plays later the Eagles had a first and ten on the ‘Dawgs 44 yard line. The Eagles kept it on the ground and drove for a first and ten on the Bulldogs 25 yard line. Eagle wing back Billy Viera had a 19 yard dash to highlight the drive. The ‘Dawg defense rose to the occasion and dropped Viera for a five yard loss. A false start on the Eagles set up a fourth and 15 on the ‘Dawgs 30 yard line. Eagle Q.B. Joseph Miller’s apparent touchdown pass to Xavier Steel slipped through the wing backs hand to the delight of the Bulldog faithful. The Bulldogs took over on their own 30 yard line with 3:14 minutes remaining in the first period. Two running plays by ‘Dawg tailback Dee Bowler netted one yard setting up a third and nine from the 31 yard line. Q.B. Leavitt hit wide-out Dillon Graves for 12 yards and a Bulldog first down on their 43 yard line. Leavitt followed it up with a long gainer to Christian Aguirre for 28 yards and a first and ten from the Eagles 29 yard line. Bowler ripped off six yards before Leavitt’s apparent complete pass to Tyson Teerlink was waived off to the dismay of the hometown crowd. The clock ran out ending a hard tackling first period.
Bulldog Q.B. Leavitt began the second period with a pass to Aguirre for 12 yards and a first down on the Eagles 11 yard line. Bowler took it the rest of the way for six points for the Bulldogs. His juke on the goal line left an Eagle defender grabbing for air. The point after by Teerlink went wide. Teerlink’s kickoff was fielded by Viera on the Eagles 20 yard line and reversed to Steele who was stopped dead in his tracks by Bowler’s sharp tackle. Two plays later Bowler dropped Steele for a five yard loss. A false start penalty moved the ball back to the Eagles 10 yard line. Big Eagle running back D.J. Koopman almost covered the yardage for a first down but was stopped by the swarming ‘Dawg defense forcing an eagle punt. Aguirre fumbled the punt but recovered on his own 44 yard line. Bowler began the drive gaining seven yards on a swing pass from Leavitt setting up a second and three from the Eagles 49 yard line. Bowler slashed for 17 yards dragging Eagle defenders with him. Two incomplete passes and a Leavitt sack forced a Leavitt punt which was downed by the ‘Dawgs on the Eagle one yard line. The Bulldogs defense stiffened and forced an Eagle punt to the ‘Dawgs 46 yard line. Bowler ran for four and six yards giving the ‘Dawgs a first down on the Eagles 44 yard line. A false start for minus five yards and a Leavitt pass for plus five followed by a Bowler short gain forced the Bulldogs to punt. The Eagle returner misplayed the kick which went back into the end zone for a touchback. A Bulldog tackler thinking the ball was live fell on the Eagle returnee causing a personal foul call on the ‘Dawgs as the Bulldog faithful screamed in dismay. The second period ended with the Bulldogs up 6-0. Homecoming activities kept the Bulldog faithful stoked during the intermission. Jeffery Hughes and Kailee Hughes were named King and Queen for homecoming.
The Eagles surprised the Bulldogs with a second half onside kick recovering in Bulldog territory but the Eagles were called for an illegal touch penalty giving the Bulldogs a first and ten from their own 40 yard line. The Bulldogs were forced to punt after three plays went nowhere. The Punt was downed on the ten yard line but an illegal block in the back penalty moved the ball up to the Eagles 16 yard line. The ‘Dawgs held and forced an Eagles punt to the Boulder City 45 yard line. Two plays later the Bulldogs Teerlink was standing in the end zone for six points on a Leavitt pass for 42 yards and six points. The two point conversion by Leavitt failed keeping the score 12-0 for the Bulldogs. It took the Eagles 13 seconds to return the favor as Steele went around end for 70 yards and an Eagle touchdown cutting the ‘Dawg lead to 12-6. The two point conversion failed. The Bulldogs took the ensuing kickoff and reeled off three first downs aided by a pass interference call on the Eagles. The Bulldogs were in good field position before Leavitt was sacked for five yard loss. Leavitt was sacked again setting up fourth and long from the Eagles 45 yard line. Leavitt’s punt traveled 19 yards to the Eagles 26 yard line. A Bulldog defensive lapse in the secondary found Eagle tight end all alone and he scrambled 74 yards on a Miller pass to tie the score at 12-12. The Eagle P.A.T. failed. Two consecutive long plays totaling 144 yards in 21 seconds by the Eagles got the Boulder City squad back in the game. The third quarter ended with momentum on the side of the Eagles and the Bulldogs facing a fourth down punt.
The fourth period was a defensive struggle as the Bulldogs had three possessions and could not manage a first down. The Eagles controlled the ball for over nine minutes of the period. The Eagles received the punt and began a drive from their 39 yard line with 8:35 on the clock. Ten plays later the Bulldog defense stopped the drive taking over, on the eight yard line, with 1:59 minutes remaining in the game. It became apparent that the Bulldogs were going for the win instead of winding down the clock and taking the game into overtime as Leavitt dropped back and threw downfield. The pass came up short but stopped the clock in favor of the Eagles. Aguirre was sacked on the next play setting up third and long from the one yard line. Aguirre’s keeper gained two yards forcing a Leavitt punt which Steele returned to the Bulldog 35 yard line with 44 seconds remaining in the game. Bulldog Graves knocked down an Eagle pass-attempt in the end zone. Eagle Koopman made the play of the game taking and end around to the Bulldogs five yard line. The clock read 25 seconds remaining before two huge mistakes by the Eagles resulted in and unheard of two delay of games penalties. Two runs and an incomplete pass set up a timeout for the Eagles. After mulling their chances the Eagles set up for a field goal with three seconds remaining in the game. Big tackle Christen Nilsen split the end zone for the game winner as the clock ran out. Steele and Miller dominated game statistics on two plays. Steele had 70 yards of his game high 109 yards rushing and Miller had 74 yards of his total 85 yards on one pass. Bowler had 65 tough yar5ds on 17 carries and Leavitt had 161 passing yards for the ‘Dawgs. Would have, could have it was a good game. “I hated to see our seniors lose at homecoming but we did not execute well up front. We didn’t throw well tonight. I’m proud of our kids, they fought throughout the game. Up 12-0 we let down and allowed two big plays which made the difference, “said Coach Chris Sawyers. “Ultimately it comes down to me, teaching the kids. Hope to see them again in the playoffs, “added Sawyers. The Bulldogs have two away games against Desert Pines next week and archrival Moapa Valley in two weeks before returning for their hopefully not final game against Sunrise High School on October 19.