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Trojans fall short in playoff matchup with Bulldogs

The Pahrump Valley Trojans were defeated in their second round playoff game on Friday 35-0 when they hosted the Virgin Valley Bulldogs.

This was the second game of the season between these two teams. They had previously met in September when Pahrump opened their season at home. Virgin Valley was able to come away with a win in that game as well, 42-18.

The Trojans came into the game as the No. 1 seed in the 3A Mountain division. For finishing in first place during the regular season, Pahrump was awarded with a first round bye.

Virgin Valley came into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the 3A Desert division, finishing behind Moapa High School. The Bulldogs hosted the Eldorado Sundevils in the first round of the playoffs. Virgin Valley was able to cruise to a victory in that game by a score of 52-12.

This brings us to Friday’s matchup.

Pahrump Valley’s head coach, Joe Clayton, said that the team was hoping Virgin Valley would pull off the win against Moapa because they wanted a shot at revenge. An old phrase comes to mind: Ask and you shall receive.

Even though this was the matchup that the players wanted, the Trojans may have had too much on their plates.

“We knew what we were getting into,” Clayton said. “Virgin Valley is always a tough, physical team. They just got the best of us early and just put the pressure on. We just kept making mistakes that we don’t normally make and that kept them rolling.”

On the offensive side of the ball, yards were tough to come by for Pahrump. They finished with a total of 115 offensive yards. Junior quarterback Scott Oscarson finished the game completing just 40% of his passes for 62 yards, all of which came in the second half.

The rushing attack for the Trojans, which averaged 205 yards per game, was only able to manage 53 yards on the ground. This was the team’s lowest total in terms of yards since their game against Moapa Valley, when they only had 33 rushing yards.

Senior running back Henry Amaya led the team in both carries (10) and yards (23). The team’s leading rusher, senior running back Zach Cuellar, only had three yards on four carries.

Virgin Valley senior quarterback Gavin Brown ended the regular season as the top passing quarterback in the state of Nevada for 3A. He passed for nearly 2,000 passing yards and had 25 touchdowns.

The Trojans had a difficult time defending against Brown’s passing attack. He was able to complete 82% of his pass attempts and finished the game with 215 yards, to go along with his three touchdown passes.

Brown’s top two targets were senior wide receivers Jimmy Kelly and Benson Leavitt. Kelly caught six passes for a total of 55 yards while Leavitt caught four passes for a total of 78 yards and two of the three passing touchdowns from Brown.

The Virgin Valley Bulldogs will be heading to Elko next week to take on Elko High School in the 3A Nevada state semifinals.

After the game, Coach Clayton gathered his team in the end zone for a discussion, much like every other game, but this would be the last time for this season.

“What I told them was how much we loved them,” Clayton said. “We know how much time these boys put into what they do. We just talked about how it was such a tough year and a half, going through all of the pandemic stuff we went through. To fight through that and become league champs, they can’t take that league championship away from them. We just wanted to let them know how much we care about them and we appreciate everything they do.”

Contact Sports Editor Danny Smyth at dsmyth@pvtimes.com

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