The Virgin Valley High School Bulldogs promising season had a rude ending Friday night October19 as their archrival Moapa Valley Pirates scuttled the Dawgs 35-0. It was a tough game to watch as the action was slowed down by 19 penalties called by the men in stripes plus indecisive calls on plays throughout the game. Not taking anything away from the Pirates, who dominated the Dawgs on both sides of the ball, the Bulldogs did not look anything like the team that went 7-1 going into the stretch run.

The Pirates first score may have set a record on distance for a returned punt for a touchdown four minutes into the game. The Dawgs had just held the Pirates powerful offense forcing a punt which rolled dead on the Bulldogs 4 yard line. Bulldog Wyatt Delano, in a rare carry for the game, got two yards up the middle to the seven. A Bulldog penalty moved the ball back to the four forcing a punt. The shanked punt traveled all of one yard, taken in the air by the Pirates Josh Cox, for a T.D. The point after was good giving the Pirates all the points they needed to win the game. Bulldog quarterback Meb Hollingshead carried the brunt of the offense on their next possession but penalties set the Bulldogs back forcing a punt. The punt traveled 15 yards giving the Pirates good position on the Dawgs 42 yard line. Eight plays later Pirate running back Hayden Redd took it over from the 6 upping the Pirates lead to 14-0 after one period of play. The Bulldogs were called for four penalties on their first possession of the second period plus the Pirates were called for two. Neither team could mount a drive in the second as good defense took over until a huge call was made on a Pirate completion for a 26 yard T.D. Pirate Q.B. Luke Bennett hit Cox, who obviously pushed off a Dawg defender for the T.D. The officials huddled for minutes before confirming the score with 39 seconds remaining in the half. The Half ended with the Pirates up 21-0. The highpoint for the Dawgs in the first half was the play of Rudy Cannon who made numerous defensive plays despite his size.

The Pirates added a T.D. in the third period on a 25 pass from Bennett to Derick Reese giving them a 28-0 advantage. Cannon intercepted a long Bennett pass for the defensive highlight of the quarter. The Pirates added their last T.D. of the game early in the period with Redd taking it in from 55 yards out making the score 35-0. The Bulldogs mounted their best drive on the next possession. The Dawgs began their drive 29 yard line. An obviously limping Wyatt Delano had his best rush of the game, ripping off 17 yards to their 46 yard line. Hollingshead hit Vicente Pinto on pass and run for 54 yards to the Pirates 11 yard line. The Bulldogs could not take advantage of good field position failing on two pass attempts giving the ball back to the Pirates. The Pirates ran out a running clock for the 35-0 win. The loss ended the Bulldog season with a 7-3 record which under normal circumstances would be considered a good record, but due to the hot start by the Dawgs early on ended with disappointment on the Bulldogs sideline. “Not to take anything away from Moapa,” said Bulldog coach Matt Woods. “We were hurting the last two games with numerous injuries coming off the win over 4A Spring Valley three weeks ago. I should have rested some of our starters for that game. Delano was pretty much a decoy much of the game and we couldn’t replace his running. Excuses aside, we had 7 sophomores playing along with our juniors, which bodes well for us next season.”

Prior to the game, Pirates and Bulldog team captains met with officials. It was quite obvious to those fans in attendance, that the Bulldogs had a slight disadvantage in height for the game.