Horace Langford Jr. / Pahrump Valley Times - The sure hands of senior AJ Segura brought the ball in. Segura late in the fourth quarter scored the last touchdown for the Trojans with a TD reception.
The Faith Lutheran Crusaders scored first blood in the Trojans game Friday, by quickly passing for quick yardage on their first possession and they scored within the first two minutes of having the ball.
The Trojans responded in kind by marching the ball down the field in Trojans fashion by pounding the ball down the Crusaders’ throat. It appeared as if it was going to be a close game. In the first drive, Troy ate up close to eight minutes of clock time. They also ran three fourth-down plays to convert for first downs in the first drive. Everything was going the way the Trojans wanted it.
The team scored its first TD on Scott Maughan’s run. At the end of the first quarter, it seemed like the Trojans would be able to answer the Crusaders TD for TD.
It was not to be. In the second quarter Faith drove down twice more for two more unanswered touchdowns. They blanked the Trojans rushing game in the second quarter and led at halftime 21-6. The Trojans could still come back though, and they came close.
The third quarter would be the turning point of the game. The Trojans knew if they were to win they would have to put some points on the board.
The Trojans were forced out of their rushing game and turned to the air to play catch-up ball. In their first possession of the third, the Trojans were marching down the field, when TJ Milk threw his first interception at midfield. The Trojans turned the ball over and the defense held the Crusader offense to a field goal. It was 24-6.
The Trojans were still in the game at this point if they could just get in the end zone in the third quarter. In their second possession, again the Trojans marched down the field. Chad Uyeno had just made a fourth down conversion for a first down in Crusader territory around the 35-yard line. Milk threw his second interception with just 4:11 left to go in the third. This time Faith takes the ball back for a TD. These 10-unanswered points broke the Trojans’ back, but they still didn’t give up.
The Trojans were able to drive the ball in the third, but really gave the game away with the two turnovers. They had to go away from their game plan and pass more and this forced the turnover. The Trojans were out of their comfort zone and the young Milk made some bad reads.
When the quarterback is a sophomore without a lot of varsity passing experience, bad reads are bound to happen. Milk was out for a bit after making those interceptions, but came right back in the fourth and threw a touchdown pass. That took composure and maturity.
In the third quarter, the Crusaders were taking time off the clock by running the ball. The entire first half they set up the run with the pass. In the second half, the Trojans couldn’t stop the run. The drive down the field and the Crusaders kick for the field goal took nearly five minutes off of the clock by running the ball.
Trojans scored two times in the fourth by going to the air. Crusaders got their last TD in the first part of the fourth and made it 38-6. Trojans didn’t give up and got two TDs with 9:58 left to go in the game.
In the first TD of the fourth, Trojans took over on the 50-yard line. Milk connected with Deon Estes to the 26-yard line. Estes ran it in for the second TD to make it 38-16.
Segura got the last TD with just 2:10 on the clock. He made a 13-yard pass reception for the last score to end the game at 38-20.
The Trojans had 226-yards total offense. The team normally averages 162-yards rushing per game and only managed 100-yards rushing against Faith. Pahrump had 126-yards passing.
Faith Lutheran had 23 carries for 197-yards rushing against Pahrump with 12 receptions for 197 yards. They had 389 total yards against Pahrump.
Faith Coach Vernon Fox was satisfied with the win as his team improved to 3-0 in league play.
“I think we came in with a plan. It’s not easy to play a double wing team and they were effective with some of the things they do. One thing that we saw out of them, and I have a lot of respect for, is they lined up and just tried to pound the ball on us. They were successful at times. Our young men stepped up when we needed to, and we were able to move the ball. What was good for us is we were able to play a balanced game passing the ball and moving the ball down the field, and this opened the game for our running backs. Overall our offensive line did great, and at the end of the game, that equates to a victory and I am really proud of these young men,” Fox said.
When asked about his running game in the second half he replied with, “That is something we take some pride in. It is a new system and we would like to be able to run the ball more. We work hard and we expect to do that. What they did in the third quarter kept the defense off the field and ate up a lot of clock.”
Pahrump drops to 1-2 in league with the next game at Western this Friday at 7 p.m.
Scott Maughan had one rushing TD, Segura had one TD reception and Estes had one TD reception.