Archrival Moapa Valley High School Pirates unleashed their vaunted attack against the Virgin Valley High School Bulldogs Friday night in Moapa Valley overwhelming the ‘Dawgs 47-6. Billed as one of the most bitter rivalry game in the state of Nevada, the battle for the ‘Victory Hammer’ was literally over after one quarter of play.
The Pirates surprised the Bulldogs with an onside kick and recovery on the first play of the game. The Bulldogs were able to shut down the Pirates in their first sequence of plays and received the Pirates punt and began their initial possession of the game. Quarterback Garrett Leavitt was sacked on his first touch of the ball. Josh Potter gained three up the middle and Leavitt gained 6 on a keeper forcing, a ‘Dawg punt. Leavitt’s punt was taken to the 48 yard line by the Pirates. Eleven seconds later Pirate running back Kasem Hughes was celebrating in the end zone with a 52 yard touchdown run. The point after kick failed keeping the score at 6-0 in favor of the Pirates. The Bulldogs were stymied in their next possession and were forced to punt again. There was no doubt the Bulldogs were missing the running of injured Dee Bowler. The Pirates began their possession on their own twenty yard line. Facing a second and seven yards from their 47 yard line, Pirate Sean McConnell went around end for 57 yards and another Pirate touchdown. The two point conversion failed. The Bulldogs had one more opportunity in the first period to mount an offensive but were shut down by the Pirates defense and were forced into their third punt in as many possessions. The first period ended with Pirates on the Bulldogs 13 yard line highlighted by a fine punt return by McConnell. The score stood at 12 -0 after one period of play
McConnell ran it in from the 13 yard line increasing the Pirates lead to 18-0 before adding the P.A.T. for one more point making the score 19-0. The Pirates kickoff went into the end zone giving the ‘Dawgs a first and ten from their own 20 yard line. The Bulldogs managed to gain a first down on a Leavitt 32 yard pass completion to Tyson Teerlink to the Pirate 41 yard line. The Bulldogs managed to get to the Pirates 34 yard line before the Pirate defense stiffened and held the ‘Dawgs on downs. The Pirates then went on a five minute 66 yard sustained drive for their fourth touchdown of the game. The P.A.T. was good making the score 26-0 in favor of the hometown Pirates. The Bulldogs began their next possession on their 29 yard line. Two Q.B. sacks later for minus 16 yards found the ‘Dawgs punting to the Pirates. Leavitt’s punt was short giving the Pirates field position on the ‘Dawgs 45 yard line. A Hughes 19 yard run plus a personal foul penalty set up a 13 yard touchdown run by McConnell increased the Pirate lead to 32-0 the P.A.T. was good. The first half ended with Pirates up 33-0 over the ‘Dawgs. The third period was all Pirates as they put up two more touchdowns and two conversions to increase their lead to 47-0 after three periods. League rules require a running clock for the rest of the game if a team goes up by 45 points.
The Bulldogs managed to sustain a drive beginning with 8:04 remaining in the game against the Pirates reserves and the ball on their own 48 yard line. Dillon Graves ripped off 24 yards for the ‘Dawgs for a first and ten from the Pirates 28 yard line. Graves got three more yards on a slash up the middle. Leavitt hit Tanner Kilmer for ten yards and a first and ten from the 15 yard line. A sack and a penalty moved the ball to the 31 yard line before Graves gained five more yards to the 26 yard line with seconds remaining in the game. Leavitt hit Cristian Aguirre in the end zone as the clock ran out for six points. The Bulldogs score averted a shutout by the Pirates. Graves led the Bulldogs in rushing with 51 on 15 attempts. Leavitt had 99 yards on 8 of 15 passing attempts. The Pirates had over 300 yards on the ground and 79 yards through the air. “It was ugly,” said Bulldog defensive coach Matt Woods. “We have no excuses as we got beat by a better team. If we lose next week (Sunrise Mountain) were done. We just missed a lot of tackles,” added Woods. The Bulldogs host Sunrise Mountain High School next Friday in the ‘Dawg Pound. If the Bulldogs win they will probably face Cheyenne in the first round of the Playoffs.