The Virgin Valley High football team answered a prognosticator’s prediction for a loss against archrival Moapa Valley by dominating their host on both sides of the ball for a 26-14 win.
The Bulldogs saved their best game of the year for the annual “Battle of the Valleys” as they silenced the Pirates’ Homecoming crowd for most of the game. Bulldog running back
Jayden Perkins dominated on the ground with 217 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. He added another TD on a 25-yard pass off the arm of Cade Anderson. Anderson hit 6 of 13 passes for 142 yards, including a 34-yard TD strike to Vincente Pinto. The Dawgs defense was led by defensive back Easton Jensen, who had two interceptions, and linebacker Lane Ramos, with two sacks.
The Bulldogs wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Perkins took a handoff from Anderson, veered around right end and outraced Pirate defenders for a 75-yard toouchdown on the third play of the game. The two-point conversion attempt failed giving the Dawgs a 6-0 lead two minutes into the game.
Not to be denied, the Pirates countered with a 64-yard scoring scamper from Hayden Redd to take a 7-6 lead four minutes into the game. The Bulldogs mounted their longest drive on their next possession with Perkins taking the final five yards for a touchdown. Ramos kicked the extra point giving the Bulldogs a 13-7 lead with approximately four minutes left in the first period.
The battle continued as the Pirates would not give in to the visiting Dawgs as running back Braeden St. John carried eight straight times for 62 total yards and a touchdown, giving the Pirates a 14-13 advantage after one period of play.
The second period was marred by a multitude of penalties that slowed down the offense of both squads. The Bulldogs took the lead with 3:11 remaining in the half on a 34-yard strike from Anderson to Pinto giving the Dawgs a 20-14 lead at the break.
The Bulldogs defense forced a punt on the Pirates first possession of the second half. The Dawgs, behind Anderson’s arm, went 60 yards on six plays, the last a 25 yard pass to Perkins for the score. Ramos kicked the extra point to give the Dawgs a 26-14 lead early in the third period.
The Bulldog defense took over for the rest of the game. Defensive backs Ty Smith and Jensen knocked down passes to keep the Pirates at bay. Jensen had his second interception in the fourth period and Ramos made a huge sack to stop Pirate drives.
The Bulldog faithful erupted as the clock clicked down rushing the field to celebrate the Bulldogs’ only seventh win in the Pirates den since 1926.
“What a job my staff did to put this game together,” said coach Yori Ludvigson. “The kids played great and did everything we asked of them. Early in the season I said we would get better every week due to the fact we were so young and inexperienced.”
The win gives the Dawgs a 5-2 record overall for the season.
The Bulldogs are now in the driver’s seat as they travel to Chaparral Thursday night to face the Cowboys, who got by Del Sol, 35-28, in their game on October 13. The Bulldogs finish up league play against Del Sol on Thursday, Oct. 26, at home before starting the 3A playoffs.