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Pahrump Valley stops Cheyenne running attack in 20-12 victory

Pahrump Valley’s home win last Thursday keeps their playoff hopes alive.

The Trojans controlled the ball against Cheyenne on the ground and won the game 20-12 behind three touchdowns by senior Deon Estes last Thursday. Pahrump (3-3 overall, 2-2 Sunset League) was on home turf to a packed crowd and now find themselves tied with four other teams in the Sunset League, Mojave, Clark, Cheyenne, and Faith Lutheran. Sierra Vista and Spring Valley are both tied at 3-1.

Cheyenne started the scoring with a short sweep around the end for a touchdown towards the end of the second quarter. The Desert Shields failed to make the extra point.

The Trojans were highly successful with their ground attack, rushing for 188 yards, but it took a little razzle-dazzle to get that going. In the second quarter they had the ball midfield in Cheyenne territory when Pahrump’s quarterback TJ Milk threw to the right sideline to Jeremiah England for 15-yard catch. Just before going down, England flipped the ball to Estes, who then ran the ball down the sideline for a 49-yard touchdown. Pahrump made the extra point and took the lead 7-6 with 6:21 in the half.

Estes said that he and England had practiced the play since they were both sophomores.

“When the coach called the play I knew it was going for a touchdown because most of the time the guys don’t expect it,” Estes said. “For that pass, I just stayed a good three yards behind him at three-quarters speed and then I went to 100 percent when I got the ball.”

The Trojans ended the half with a scoring drive. After a Desert Shields three and out, the Trojans took over on their 40-yard line with 4:31 in the half and took the ball down to the goal line. With no time on the clock, Milk hit Estes for his second TD in the corner of the end zone for an 8-yard pass, which made the score 14-6 at the half.

Cheyenne tried to get some momentum going in the third. On their first possession of the second half, the Desert Shields ran for 55 yards down to the 9-yard line. An ensuing penalty on Pahrump made it first and goal on the 4-yard line. However, the Trojans then stuffed four straight Cheyenne running attempts to put it in the end zone.

Trojans Coach Joe Clayton said the stand was huge.

“The front four gets all the credit for the stop,” he said. “The big 300-pound D’Adrian Hill got low and surged and then Jaxon (Clayton), Jeremiah (England) and Jeremy (Coates) all did their job well. They took them on and got low.”

Pahrump took over on their own 5-yard line and went 95 yards down the field eating time on the clock. The offense took three minutes off the clock to end the third and another four minutes of the fourth, as they ran the ball into Cheyenne territory and scored on an Estes 36-yard run. The third TD made the score 20-6.

Estes made the TD, but much of the yardage on the ground was by Tommy Gascoigne, who led the team with 95-yards rushing. Gascoigne said after the game that he wanted this win.

“My energy level was spiked,” Gascoigne said. “I knew I had to get those first downs so we could secure this game. I ran as hard as I could and fast as I could because I am representing my family, my school and my God. I played for Devin Wood’s (fellow teammate) mom who passed away last year.”

The Shields got the ball back with 8:05 left to play. They scored their second TD on a run by Harrell to make it 20-12 with 5:34 left on the clock, but failed to make the extra point.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the Trojans were able to run the clock out because they had help from their defense. Cheyenne had a final chance to win the game with 2:43 left on the clock but had to take the ball 90 yards down field to do so. On the second play, Case Murphy intercepted a pass at midfield to the end the game.

Clayton knew if they could run the ball against Cheyenne that they would win the game.

“Our planned philosophy is to run time off the clock and keep our defense off the field,” Clayton said. “As a staff we knew the double wing that Cheyenne runs very well. Size on strength we do really well defensively against them. We knew all we had to do was stop the long ball. We also knew we had to stop the speed from getting out in the open because that is what stopped us in the past. We did exactly what we wanted to do execution wise. We also knew up front that we were going to be able to handle them.”

The Trojans’ next game is away against league leading Spring Valley (4-2, 3-1) who has a mobile quarterback, senior Christian Tasi. The Grizzlies are coming off a 19-6 win over Mojave where they held the Rattlers’ rushing attack to just 22 carries for 115 yards.

See Game Day in the Pahrump Valley Times on Friday for more details.

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