The Virgin Valley High School football team traveled to Clark High with high hopes Friday night Sept. 1, but fell to a swift Charger team 49-26. On paper and based on the team’s opening season games, the Bulldogs by all accounts were favored to win easily.

The final results show that some games each week will end in a surprise for the favorites. Most of the 3A teams are in a rebuilding process, and emotions and motivations may be a determining factor this season. Passing attacks can often overcome a good ground game. Look at Boulder City, who left the 3A Division to play an independent schedule, because they thought they could not compete. They are 2-0 after an easy win over a weak Western Warrior squad.

The Bulldogs fell behind early Friday night, trailing 19-7 after one period of play. The Dawgs had no answer for swift Charger running back Aquantay Morris, who scored on two receptions out of the backfield to give the Chargers a quick 13-0 advantage. The Bulldogs responded for a TD on a Cade Anderson pass to Cresent Crandall to cut the Charger lead to13-7.

The Chargers increased their lead to 19-7 with seconds remaining in the first period. The Chargers jumped on the Dawgs early in the second period, scoring on a 40-yard pass play, giving Clark a 27-7 lead.

The Bulldogs would not rollover as they marched down the field with Jayden Perkins getting the last two yards for a TD cutting the Charger lead to 27-13. The Bulldogs defense held the Chargers, giving the Dawgs offense another opportunity to score. Easton Jensen scored with less than a minute remaining in the first half on a 23 yard pass from Anderson to cut the Charger lead to 27-20. The Bulldogs could not get any closer as the Chargers added another TD on a 28-yard reception with 5 seconds left on the clock, making the score 35-20 at the break.

The Chargers got on the score board first with Morris scoring on a 40 yard dash to give Clark a 42-20 lead. The Bulldogs offense stalled but Timmy Moeai intercepted a Charger pass and took it home to cut the Chargers lead to 42-26.

Morris would score his fourth TD of the game on a short run making the final score 49-26. The difference in the game stats explains the final score. The Chargers had 187 yards on the ground to the Dawgs 199 yards. In the air the Chargers amassed 277 yards to the Dawgs 37 yards.

The Bulldogs passing offense and defense will be the topic of this week’s practices on the hill. Perkins led the Dawgs with 103 yards on 19 carries followed by Crandall with 74 yards on 9 carries. The Bulldogs host Mojave on September 8 in their next outing.

“It was one of those games where we learn from adversity,” said Coach Yori Ludvigson. “Hopefully this is one of those games. Clark played real well, while we played well at times. We gave up to many big plays to win. We were down 14 points and could not catch up. When you dress only 21 players and they dress 54 the kids have to go both ways. We need to get in better shape and we are gaining experience to reach our goal in winning the Sunrise Division.”