It was do or die last night for the Virgin Valley High football team as they faced the Del Sol High School Dragons. A win gives the Dawgs the 3A Sunrise League championship and a loss would have left them in last place and a fourth place seed for the 3A playoffs.
The Bulldogs did not disappoint the huge hometown crowd. They had their best offensive display of the year, winning a shootout 52-38. Bulldog Jayden Perkins had another monstrous game with 5 rushing touchdowns on 147 yards on the ground, he also caught four passes for 118 yards and threw a pass to quarterback Cade Anderson for an amazing 80 yard touchdown.
“This ( game ) no doubt was our best offensive display of the season,” said Bulldog coach Yori Ludvigson. “We followed our game plan to a tee.”
Despite leading from start to finish, the Bulldogs had no answer for Dragons running back Tarique Flowers who ran for 350 yards on 22 carries and 3 touchdowns.
The Bulldogs took advantage of excellent field position scoring on two Perkins runs on their first two possessions to take a 12-7 lead. The Dragons shocked the Dawgs on the first kickoff taking it to the house for the score. A penalty negated the run but the Dragons, but the Dragons scored on the next play on a 46 yard reception.
The Bulldog players and fans showed their emotions on the Dragons third possession of the first period when popular player Trevon Hollingshead entered the fray. Hollingshead tore his Achilles Heel during summer practice and this was his game of the year, He did not disappoint, stopping Flowers on fourth down giving the Dawgs field position on the 50 yard line.
Anderson proceeded to hit Perkins for 44 yards and a first down on the Dragons six yard line. Hollingshead finished the drive with a two yard touchdown run giving the Dawgs an 18-7 lead after one period.
The Bulldogs surprised the Dragons on their second possession of the second quarter. Anderson pitched out to Perkins who started right and then stopped and then hit a streaking Anderson for an 80 yard strike. Bulldog wide receiver Easton Jensen made a huge block to free Anderson for the score.
The Bulldog defense stopped the Dragons once again on a fourth and eight on the Dragons’ 44 yard line. Perkins made them pay going up the middle for his third touchdown of the game giving the Dawgs a 30-7 lead.
Flowers countered for the Dragons, going 42 yards on the next play cutting the Dawgs lead to 30-13. The Bulldogs got the final score of the first half on a Perkins one yard dive. Anderson set up the score with two big runs. The story of the first half was twofold, great field position for the Dawgs due to Dragons coaching calls and the limited use of running back Flowers. Flowers absolutely went crazy in the second half.
The Bulldogs took the second half kickoff and drove from their 42 yard line scoring on a Perkins one yard dive. Cresent Crandall had the big play on the drive with a 45 yard run through the Dragons entire defense.
The Bulldogs seemed to have a comfortable 44-14 advantage early in the half. Flowers brought the Dragons fans to life scoring on a 60-yard scamper on the first play after the kickoff. The Dragons held the Dawgs and scored on a 4 yard pass play. Flowers had 69 yards rushing on the drive.
The score now stood at 44-25 in favor of the Dawgs. Perkins brought a huge roar from the Bulldog faithful taking it to the house for an apparent Bulldog 51 yard touchdown. The score was negated by a block in the back penalty. The period ended shortly thereafter with the Dawgs on the Dragons two yard line.
Perkins scored on the first play of the fourth period giving the Dawgs a 52-25 lead.
It was the Flowers show after that. Flowers ran for 74 yards on 7 carries for a score cutting the Dawgs lead to 52-32. Flowers added another 55 yards on the Dragons next possession cutting the Dawgs lead to 52-38.
Ludvigson cleared his bench thereafter giving reserves an opportunity to show their stuff. “I’m sure proud of the kids,” Ludvigson said. “Coach Steve White had a great game plan for us, now we get back to work. I think we play Pahrump here in the opening game of the playoffs.”
Next Friday’s first round game is at 7 p.m.