The Trojans defense was no match for Jacob Leavitt, who was a one-man show for Moapa Valley, rushing for 197 yards. His four touchdown runs helped Moapa Valley defeat Pahrump Valley 40-14 in the first round of the 3A Southern Region football playoffs.
Pahrump Valley’s offense couldn’t get anything going in the first half. In their four possessions, the Trojans punted twice and then gave up the ball on downs twice.
Whereas the Pirates scored on all four of their possessions in the first half, scoring 7 points in the first quarter and 20 in the second. Three of those were Leavitt touchdowns.
Moapa ran the ball out of a wing T formation and used the run to set up the play action pass. And when they passed, they passed for big yardage. They hit a few seam passes for 20 yards or more, mostly caught by their leading receiver that evening, Dayton Wolfley.
If you are a Trojans fan, the second half was much more entertaining, as the Trojans offense had a few chances to score.
Pahrump’s offense woke up in the second half when they discovered they could run the ball. It took a 99-yard kickoff return by Nico Velazquez to open the third quarter to inspire the offense to get going.
The Moapa offense wasn’t stalled by the Velazquez return though and answered with a 12-play drive that went 90 yards for a TD.
The Trojans offense retaliated then with a long drive of their own, which went 10 plays, starting from their own 37-yard line to the Pirates’ 15. Unfortunately for Pahrump, it ended in a fumble with the Pirates getting the ball and scoring their last TD.
The Trojans got the ball back with 7:34 left in the game and ended up punting. Pahrump then forced their first punt of the game. The Pirates tried a fake punt on fourth and five but it was stopped short. It was Pahrump’s ball on their own 45-yard line.
The Trojans then ran two plays and quickly scored on an Aaron Fuentes 38-yard TD run. The onside kick was successful and the Trojans got the ball back on the 50-yard line and took the ball deep into Moapa Valley territory. But Pahrump couldn’t punch the ball in from the 8-yard line, turning the ball over on downs with 2:11 to play.
The Pirates then took over and ran out the clock to end the game.
On a positive note, the Trojans fans packed the stands and made sure the 12th man was there. The school pulled out all the stops and even took the band out there.
Trojans coach Joe Clayton appreciated all that was done in support of his team.
“I would like to thank everyone that supported the Pahrump Valley High School football program this season,” the coach said. “And especially those that traveled to Moapa last night to root us on. It meant a lot to the boys and they deserved your support. Every one of them have put countless hours into this season and it showed. It was definitely a season to remember. Thank you again to everyone! Go TROJANS!”
The Moapa win means the Pirates travel to Desert Pines at 7 p.m. on Friday. The winner of that game will play for the Southern regional championship and then go to state.
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at firstname.lastname@example.org