Led by the passing of freshman Kallie Graves, the Virgin Valley High School flag football team won their Northwest League opener 26-13 over the Bonanza High School Bengals Tuesday night in the ‘Dawg Pound’. Graves passed for 182 yards on 12-16 passes and rushed for a touchdown. Bulldog receiver Kaydee Bingham was on the other end of the T.D. passes plus took a pitchout on the 20 yard line and outraced the Bengals for 60 yards and another T.D. Dylan Bryant had 4 catches for 85 yards to lead all receivers.
The Bengals opened the game with a five-play drive to take an early 6-0 lead. The extra point run was stopped by the Dawgs. The Bengals held the Dawgs on their first possession and forced a punt. The Bengals drove to the Dawgs 5 yard line but the Bulldog defense knocked down a pass in the end zone stopping the drive. The Bulldog offense came to life driving 74 yards to the Bengals’ one yard line and a first down. Graves took it over from there. Graves hit fellow freshman Madison Cheney for the extra point giving the Dawgs a 7-6 lead with 14:45 remaining in the first half. The Bulldog defense stiffened forcing a Bengal punt on the next possession. The Dawgs didn’t waste any time scoring on Bingham’s long run to take a 13-7 lead. The Bengals countered with a 10 play 8 minute drive to tie the score 13-13. The Dawgs were intercepted on their next possession giving the Bengals a first down on the 30 yard line. The Bengals seemed to score on a quarterback keeper from the 6 yard line but were assessed a huge penalty on the run ending the first half of play with the game knotted at 13-13.
It was all Bulldogs in the second half as the Bengals self-destructed with emotional mistakes. The Dawgs scored on their first possession on a 10 yard pass to Bingham making the score 19-13. The teams traded possessions until the Dawgs added the last T.D. of the night with 52 seconds remaining in the game on an 11 yard pass from Graves to Bingham. Graves hit Dylan Bryant for the extra point making the final score 26-13. Penalties kept the Bengals from scoring during the second half of play. “It was a good conference win despite missing key players,” said Bulldog Coach Joey Bowler. “We came out sluggish but picked it up. Graves threw well and penalties helped.”
The Bulldogs have a tough three-game stretch traveling to Desert Oasis on Friday before returning home to face last year’s champion Cimarron-Memorial on Monday, December 15. The Dawgs will end the year at Centennial on Wednesday, December 17. All three teams made the playoffs last season.