Coach Chris Sawyers' debut a success.
The Clark High School Chargers were no match for the host Virgin Valley High School Bulldog football team Friday night as they lost 53-13 in the ‘Dawg Pound.
Coach Chris Sawyers unveiled the ‘Pistol,’ an offensive scheme made famous by upstate UNR coach Chris Ault. The Bulldogs struck quickly going 66 yards in three plays to lead 6-0. The Extra point failed. Dee Bowler had 63 yards in two plays before Dillon Graves took it the rest of the way for 6 points. Not to be denied, the Chargers mounted a 62 yard drive of their own, pounding the Bulldogs with 12 straight running plays to tie the game at 6 apiece. The extra point failed.
The Bulldogs received the kickoff with 3:15 on the clock and ran it back to their 25 yard line but a personal foul moved the chains back to the 15. It took the Bulldog offense a little over two minutes to put six more points on the scoreboard. The big plays were passes from Garrett Leavitt to Tyson Teerlink for 21 yards and 37 yards to Dillon Graves. Bowler took it the rest from the one for six. Teerlink added the extra point to up the ‘Dawg’s lead to 13-6.
The flood gates were open in the second quarter by the Chargers. The Chargers fumbled on first down to start the period. Bulldog Christian Aguirre recovered for the Bulldogs on the Chargers 32 yard line. ‘Dawg Bowler ran through the defense for a 32 yard score. The extra point failed leaving the score 19-6 in favor of the Bulldogs with 11:37 remaining in the second period. The Chargers made their first big mistake of the game on their next possession. Instead of punting with a fourth and three from their own 35, the Chargers attempted a run off tackle and were stuffed by Bulldog linebacker Chris Erickson. Two passes from Leavitt fell incomplete before hitting Teerlink on the sideline for 17 yards and a first down. A personal foul on the play moved the ball back to the 30 yard marker. Graves took a hand-off and weaved his way into the end zone for six more points. Teerlink’s extra point kick was good making the score 26-6 in favor of the ‘Dawg’s.
Three consecutive fumbles by the Chargers gave the Bulldogs a first down on the Chargers 15 yard line. A Leavitt pass attempt for a quick score went long. Bowler took a handoff and bowled over two Chargers at the goal line for six more points. The Bulldogs added six more points 27 seconds later when running back Junior Paongo stripped the Charger returnee and went in from 18 yards out. Teerlink’s extra point was good making the score 39-6. The onslaught was not over, as the Bulldog defense stiffened forcing a Charger punt. The punt and a subsequent penalty gave the ‘Dawg’s a first down on their 25 yard line. Two consecutive Bowler runs of seven and 30 yards plus a Leavitt keeper of 12 yards set up a Leavitt too Graves touchdown pass of 23 yards. With only 41 seconds remaining in the half, the Chargers attempted a hail-Mary pass, but Aguirree stepped in for the interception and went 66 yards for the score. Teerlink’s extra point was good. The half time score found the Bulldogs up 53-6 over the shell shocked Chargers.
The second half of the game was uneventful as League rules require a running clock when one team is up by 45 points or more. The Bulldogs managed only three possessions in the third and fourth periods while the Chargers managed only three. The Chargers put seven points on the scoreboard with 4:23 minutes remaining in the game making the final score 53-13 in favor of the host team Bulldogs. Only time will tell if the ‘Dawg’s are for real or the opponent had first night jitters.
“Well that’s one under our belt,” said Coach Sawyers as he entered the room for a post-game interview. “Our Pistol offense ran as it was designed by Coach Ault ‘The Little General’. As you may well know I followed Ault at UNR when I was in Carson City and brought the modified spread offense to the Valley. It took a little time for the kids to embrace it, but when they did they found out how much fun it is to run. Our kids are strong and the weight room training paid off. Our quarterbacks need a little more protection but they did the job and led the team. We are a long way from good but on the right track.” The Bulldogs will now face Pahrump Valley High School Friday night in the ‘Dawg Pound. The PVHS squad was thumped 45-7 Friday night By Moapa Valley.