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Beatty football to play at Spring Mountain in playoffs tonight

Beatty football went head-to-head against one of the best eight-man football teams in the country last week and found out why Pahranagat Valley (9-0 overall, 7-0 1A Southern) is ranked eighth in the nation according to a MaxPreps poll.

The Panthers defeated the Hornets 50-14.

“The game wasn’t as bad as the score looks,” Hornets coach Leo Verzilli said. “We drove the ball up and down the field, we just couldn’t punch it in. The kids played hard, we only punted once. They were fast. I thought we were fast, but they showed me what fast was.”

Verzilli said the score was 24-8 at the half.

“They beat us long a couple of times and broke a couple of runs and they were gone,” the coach said. “They are sound at every level, and will be a hard team for anyone to beat.”

The Panthers had 548 yards in total offense and ran at will against Beatty, accumulating 362 yards on the ground, with 186 yards through the air.

The loss means that once again Beatty football finds themselves in the 1A Southen Region playoffs as the third-place seed facing Spring Mountain. Pahranagat Valley is the first-place seed and will host Tonopah (6-3, 4-3) tonight at 7 p.m.

To advance to state, the Hornets (7-2, 5-2) must beat Spring Mountain (6-2, 6-1). In their first meeting of the season Spring Mountain beat Beatty, 41-0.

The Hornets were able to slow the Golden Eagles down on the ground, holding them to 147 yards but couldn’t find the answer to their passing game, in which they threw for 259 yards.

“Spring Mountain plays the spread so we are working on our pass coverages and blitz packages to try and get some pressure on their QB, who is very good,” Verzilli said.

“They are also fast and use it well and that’s why they use the spread.”

To open up their ground game more, Verzilli said they will need to throw the ball.

“We will need to pass more in order to get some of their guys out of the middle, they rush five and six at a time if you don’t,” the coach said. “We have a good, young QB and he will be tested Friday, putting in new pass plays and play action out of our comfort zone, but the kids love it. We’ll see if it all works out. We’ll give it our best shot.”

The game is at 1 p.m. today at Spring Mountain.

The one thing about playing the Golden Eagles in November is it’s cold in the Spring Mountains during this time of year.

The temperature for game time should be about 57 degrees.

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

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