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Another close game goes wrong way for Pahrump Valley football

The Pahrump Valley High School football team took a 1-3 record into its off week after a demoralizing 32-28 road loss to Boulder City.

On Sept. 7, the Trojans took a 28-20 into the fourth quarter after Nico Velazquez scored on a 28-yard run with 1:57 left in the third, then practically walked into the end zone for the 2-point conversion. The short drive was set up when sophomore Dylan Wright intercepted Boulder City quarterback Parker Reynolds at the Eagles’ 36.

But the Eagles scored the last 12 points, beating the Trojans at their own game with sustained drives.

Thorsten Balmer, who had topped 200 yards rushing the week before against Democracy Prep, did it again Friday night, carrying a whopping 29 times for 211 yards and two touchdowns. Reynolds became the latest quarterback to have a solid game against the Trojans, completing 12 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns while running for another score.

Both of them played key roles as the Eagles dominated the fourth quarter. Balmer rushed for 50 yards and Reynolds hit Jimmy Dunagan for 22 yards on an eight-play, 72-yard drive capped by Balmer’s 3-yard run with 10:51 left in the game. Nursing a 28-26 lead, the Trojans then went three-and-out and left the Eagles with the ball on their own 45.

It took seven plays for the Eagles to find the end zone again and retake the lead. The key play on the drive was a 10-yard scramble by Reynolds on third-and-9 from the Pahrump Valley 20. Three plays later, Reynolds kept it, bounced off the pile and headed right, fumbling into the end zone. The officials ruled it a touchdown, making an already-frustrated Pahrump Valley sideline livid, and the home side had a four-point lead after another failed conversion.

Again, the Trojans could not muster a first down, with quarterback Dylan Wright getting sacked for an 11-yard loss on third-and-6. When they got the ball back, the Eagles kept the ball on the ground, looking to run out the clock. Two holding penalties slowed their progress, but a critical facemask penalty on the Trojans on a third-and-15 play kept the drive alive.

By the time the Trojans got the ball back, they were on their own 5-yard line with 53.2 seconds left.

Balmer put and end to things by jumping a slant route and intercepting Wright inside the Pahrump Valley 10. During the fourth quarter, the Eagles ran 19 plays to the Trojans’ seven.

The Eagles had taken a 14-0 lead on touchdown catches by Dunagan and Balmer, but the Trojans answered by scoring on their next two possessions.

First, a solid 10-play, 61-yard drive ended in a 3-yard scoring run by Casey Flennory. Then, a drive set up by a fumble recovery off of a bad snap covered 53 yards in eight plays featured a 37-yard bomb from Wright to a wide-open Joey Koenig for 37 yards to the Eagles’ 16. Five plays later, Wright scored on a 1-yard keeper, and Flennory’s conversion run made it 14-14.

The Trojans’ other touchdown was on another Wright-to-Koenig hookup, and again the senior was left wide open. This time, Wright found Koenig behind everybody for a 79-yard score, the Trojans’ longest play of the season. That made the score 20-20 with 5:16 left in the third.

The Eagles totaled 393 yards of offense to the Trojans’ 263, including a 231-147 edge in rushing yards. Flennory finished with 72 yards rushing, while Velazquez added 67. Wright finished with 116 passing yards, all to Koenig.

Pahrump Valley next plays Class 3A newcomer Democracy Prep in its Sunset League opener at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at Rancho High School.

The Blue Knights are 1-3, with a victory over Coronado and losses to Moapa Valley, Boulder City and Sunrise Mountain. They will travel to Virgin Valley tonight, Sept. 14.

Contact Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at trysinski@pvtimes.com On Twitter:@pvtimes

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