Pahrump Valley High School football players had a simple task Friday night: start the way they did in a loss to Lowry and finish the way they did in a loss to Virgin Valley.
Unfortunately for Sunrise Mountain, the Trojans did exactly that.
Pahrump Valley rushed 40 times for 365 yards and never trailed in a convincing 42-14 win over the Miners on homecoming night in Pahrump.
“It’s really big, honestly,” said senior Nico Velazquez, who rushed for 109 of those yards and two touchdowns. “It’s homecoming. Everyone wants to win homecoming. We came out here and did what we can do.”
After two nail-biters, the Trojans were in cruise control much of the way, allowing coach Joe Clayton to rest starters toward the end, a blessing for a team with a thin roster and a few players banged up.
One of those banged-up players is quarterback Tyler Floyd, who not play in the second half. Clayton said the senior was in the concussion protocol. Floyd completed one pass against the Miners, for an 18-yard touchdown to Casey Flennory that made it 14-6 late in the first quarter.
Also completing one pass was Velazquez, and his also went for a touchdown. On second-and-goal at the Miners’ 4-yard line, Velazquez took a handoff, ran right and found Flennory for the Trojans’ final score.
“It was an option,” Velazquez said. “Casey sprung wide open, and I hit him.”
Flennory also found time to score on an electrifying 71-yard run, finding room on the left side and racing untouched into the end zone.
Flennory finished with 94 yards rushing, and the touchdown was his longest run of the season.
“So far this season, yes, but there are going to be more,” he said.
What kind of a night was it for the Trojans? Velazquez, who was crowned the school’s homecoming king at halftime, fumbled on a third-quarter conversion run, but junior Anthony Peralta was right there to pick it up and run it in for two points.
But on a night when almost everything went right for the Trojans, it still came down to the rushing attack, which the Miners could not stop. Even taking out Velazquez and Flennory from the statistics, Pahrump Valley’s ballcarriers combined for 20 carries for 162 yards and a touchdown, an 11-yard scamper by Joey Koenig in the second quarter.
“Look at the rushing yards,” Clayton said as he added up the numbers in the school’s wrestling room after the game. “Holy smokes.”
All of the key elements for a successful rushing attack were there. The offensive line did a tremendous job, Flennory’s speed gave the normally methodical Trojans a big-play touchdown, and Velazquez was his usual self, hitting the holes fast and not going down easily.
“His stats are unreal,” Clayton marveled. “He’s got more than 500 yards in three games.
“When Nico hits the holes, he shifts gears so quickly. He’s fullback size with running back feet. And he finishes because he’s 205 pounds. He is a real, true running back. He sees the hole, he’s shifty, he sets his blocks up, and it shows. His numbers are ridiculous.”
Next up for Pahrump Valley is a Friday night trip to Boulder City. The Trojans then take a week off before opening Class 3A Sunset League play against league newcomer Democracy Prep.
For more football, see Trojans Football Notebook on pvtimes.com
Contact Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter:@pvtimes