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Trojans traveling to Class 3A favorite Desert Pines

The last time the Trojans played Desert Pines was in 2013 and Pahrump lost at home, 41-27.

Pahrump’s team will try to erase that memory on Friday at Desert Pines, a favorite in Class 3A to win the state championship. Look for the Trojans to keep the ball on the ground again.

Against Chaparral, the offense stayed on the ground most of the game with 36 carries for 116 yards. The team did an excellent job of possessing the ball. In one series, the Trojans ran the ball 16 times and took over 10 minutes off the clock. Although they didn’t score, it was a minor victory because it kept the ball out of the Chaparral offense, who proved they could score quickly. Pahrump grounded the Cowboys’ air attack, limiting them to 79 unofficial yards passing in the first half and 53-yards passing in the second half.

The name of the game for the Trojans is ball possession. That’s their best defense. The more they hold the ball, the less the opponent has a chance of scoring. The Trojans also can score quickly. They have a very athletic quarterback, Parker Hart, who can throw and run the ball. Against Chaparral, Hart ran two plays against the Cowboys to score quickly late in the game when Jessie Dillon took a short lob for a 70-yard jaunt down the sideline and then Aaron Fuentes popped it in for a two-yard run.

Defensively, the Trojans beat Chaparral because Pahrump’s linemen were quicker off the line, despite the Cowboys being bigger. The Trojans got off the line and filled their gaps. If they can do that against the Jaguars, they can stop the Desert Pine run game.

Injuries: Trojans are healthy but will play without two players.

The Opponent:

The Trojans are coming off a great defensive game against Chaparral and now that same defense will be asked to stop Class 3A offensive powerhouse Desert Pines, who is averaging 37 points per game and averages 345 yards of offense per game.

It’s a daunting task.

The Jaguars have proven they can play without star quarterback Marckell Grayson, who is sidelined with an ACL injury. Senior wide reciever Randel Grimes, who has signed to play at Southern California, took over for Grayson and has won two before losing to nationally ranked Liberty last week.

“Grimes is for sure a great threat because of his athleticism, however, he is converted to QB due to injury,” Clayton said. “His passing is not as much of a threat as his running ability. Morris is very quick and is a major concern of ours. Speed poses problems, always! We are going to do what we have done the first four weeks, tackle in space and fly to the ball!”

Grimes can be rattled. In film, Clark showed his inexperience as he didn’t pick up their blitz package numerous times. But Grimes is a run threat. He is highly mobile.

Another threat Desert Pines likes to use is the screen pass. The Jaguars have used it for big yardage against other teams in the past.

Then there is Isaiah Morris, one of the state’s top running backs. He is a quick back that can turn on the juice if he breaks free. A good defense like Liberty was able to limit Morris to 58 yards. Clark limited him to 141 yards. Pahrump will have to prove themselves this week.

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

Trojans Roster

Number Player name Height Weight Year Position

62 Jeremy Albertson 6’ 0” 215 Junior OL, DL

2 Cory Bergan 6’ 2” 160 Junior TE, DB

57 Brandon Bunker 6’ 3” 265 Sophomore OL, DL

8 Dylan Coffman 5’ 10” 150 Junior QB, DB

52 David Diaz 5’ 5” 200 Junior OL, DL

17 Jesse Dillon 5’ 7” 160 Senior RB, DB

44 Aaron Fuentes 5’ 9” 210 Senior RB, DL

5 Parker Hart 6’ 1” 205 Senior QB, DB

40 Brian Horton 6’ 0” 150 Junior TE, DL

1 Daniel Kinkade 5’ 10” 210 Senior TE, LB

58 Ryan Lopez 5’ 9” 235 Senior OL, DL

56 Pietro Mariano 5’ 8” 120 Senior OL, DL

51 Garrett Monje 5’ 10” 180 Senior OL, DL

21 Case Murphy 5’ 9” 175 Senior RB, LB

11 Mauricio Quintana 6’ 0” 150 Senior RB, DB

12 Nickolas Redmond 5’ 9” 160 Junior RB, DB

33 David Roundy 5’ 7” 150 Junior RB, LB

78 Heber Roundy 6’ 0” 175 Senior OL, DL

6 Jacob Sawin 5’ 8” 140 Junior RB, DB

7 Joey Sladek 5’ 10” 155 Senior RB, DB

68 Justin Soliwoda 5’ 8” 200 Junior OL, DL

20 Riley Sutton 6’ 2” 165 Senior TE, LB

34 Nico Velazquez 5’ 9” 170 Sophomore RB, DB

66 Cole Walker 5’ 11” 200 Junior OL, DL

22 Drew Walker 5’ 9” 145 Senior RB, DB

70 Morgan White 6’ 0” 200 Junior OL, DL

DESERT PINES

League: Class 3A Sunset

Head coach: Tico Rodriguez, fourth season (30-5)

2015 record: 8-3 (4-2 Sunrise League, third place)

Returning lettermen: 25

Base offensive set: Spread

Base defensive set: 4-3

Top offensive players: , RB Isaiah Morris (Sr.), QB Randel Grimes (Sr.)

Top defensive players: OLB Tony Fields (Sr.), MLB Jautae Collins (Sr.), DE Jalen Graves (Sr.)

Key losses: LB Vasa Hansell, DE Anthony Smith, OT Sam Poutasi

Outlook: Moving over from the Sunset to Sunrise League this season, Desert Pines is a threat to win the league. A perennial powerhouse, the Jaguars return a core that has the makings of a state title contender.

On offense Grayson threw for 1,798 yards and 21 touchdowns. Morris had 1,461 yards on the ground with 19 touchdowns. They are both back as well as most of the other skill players. Losing Poutasi on the line hurts, but graduation hurts every team in the state.

Even with Poutasi’s departure, the offensive line is monstrous, and includes a pair of players who already have committed to Division I schools in Edgar Burrola (Arizona) and Poutasi Poutasi (Louisville).

Fields also has committed to play at Arizona and leads the defense.

It’s an experienced team with top-notch playmakers which leads to a school with high expectations going into 2016. Desert Pines could be one of the most exciting teams to watch in any classification this year.

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