The Trojans host Mojave for their last home and the final regular game of the season and it will be crucial for the Trojans to win if they want to be the third seed in the playoffs.
A Pahrump win will also clinch a winning season for the Trojans (5-3 overall, 2-2 Sunset League).
Against Western, the Trojans piled on the run for 368 yards. They will need something similar to beat Mojave (1-7, 1-3). The Trojans had one fumble and a few penalties last week against the Warriors. The penalties got ugly late in the game, stopping a touchdown drive. For the Trojans to win, they need to run a cleaner game with Mojave than they played against Western.
The big question for Pahrump is, can they run against Mojave?
Cheyenne, a quick team, ran for 253 yards, Sunrise Mountain ran for 360 yards and Moapa Valley 206 yards. So the answer is yes, teams can rush against the Mojave defense. Sunrise Mountain had a hard time running against Pahrump but then ran for 360 yards against Mojave. Perhaps the Mojave line might experience some meat tenderizing.
Fan noise the 12th man
According to Mike Colucci, Trojans announcer, the fan noise at the Sunrise Mountain game was a key factor in the victory.
“I talked to someone from Sunrise Mountain after the game and he said one of the reasons the Miners players were penalized so many times for false starts at the end of the game was because they couldn’t hear,” Colucci said.
So fan noise played a big role in that important victory. And he is requesting the fans pack the stands once again for this crucial last regular game of the season.
Mojave is not to be dismissed because of their record. Trojans coach Joe Clayton knows that the Rattlers played a tough preseason, playing some 4A schools and they played Cheyenne tough in their last game.
But Clayton is not worried about anything in particular about Mojave’s offense.
“We worry about everyone,” he said. “My staff does a good job of breaking down film and getting a good game plan. so far our defensive game plans against everyone we come across has played into our hands. We have played really well against these teams. We already studied Mojave a little bit because Mojave and Western played last week.”
The main concern is Mojave’s speed.
“That always concerns us,” the coach said. “This is something we always are concerned with because we have the athletes but not the speed they have.Their QB has a lot of speed.”
The Rattlers run out of a spread formation on offense and a 4-3 base defense.
Pahrump coach Joe Clayton likes the fact that Mojave is a spread team.
“The nice thing is it’s another spread team and we face spread teams every week,” Clayton said. “Everyone has to prepare for us because they don’t see us. We are like Navy, so nobody wants to play us. They have to prepare just for us because everyone else they play is spread. That is the advantage we have for sure.”
In short yardage and some passing situations, Mojave likes to run out of a diamond formation. Most spread teams use this out of a shotgun but Mojave runs it with the QB under center. It’s a power set designed to put nine men offensively in the box, which means a team will run in this formation. (The area occupied by defensive linemen and linebackers is often referred to as “the box”). Two fullbacks line up behind the QB and behind them one running back. Against Western, Mojave used the formation to run inside and outside. Expect to see this formation in short yardage or when Mojave wants to pass.
As far as defense against the pass, Clayton is not worried about that either.
“Our spread pass coverage has been decent,” he said. “Our corners are physical and in their face whereas everyone else gives Chaparral 15 yards. But we bumped their receivers and stay in the flat and that helps us against the run.”
On Friday the senior football players and their parents will be recognized before the game (beginning at 6:40 p.m.) All parents are asked to be there by 6:30 p.m. Also, the cross-country team, girls golf, dance and cheer team seniors and parents will be recognized at halftime.
Also, Gear Up will have a canned food drive to fill the school pantry. Bring a non-perishable food item and receive a $1 off admission at the gate.
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at email@example.com
Time: 7 p.m.
Where: Trojans Stadium
Opponent: Mojave Rattlers 3A
Number Player name
62 Jeremy Albertson
2 Cory Bergan
57 Brandon Bunker
8 Dylan Coffman
52 David Diaz
17 Jesse Dillon
44 Aaron Fuentes
5 Parker Hart
40 Brian Horton
1 Daniel Kinkade
58 Ryan Lopez
56 Pietro Mariano
51 Garrett Monje
21 Case Murphy
11 Mauricio Quintana
12 Nickolas Redmond
33 David Roundy
78 Heber Roundy
6 Jacob Sawin
7 Joey Sladek
68 Justin Soliwoda
20 Riley Sutton
34 Nico Velazquez
66 Cole Walker
22 Drew Walker
70 Morgan White
League: Class 3A Sunset
Head coach: Abraham Gonzalez, first season (0-0)
2015 record: 6-4 (5-2 Sunset League, third)
Returning lettermen: 20
Returning starters: Six offense, seven defense
Base offensive set: Spread
Base defensive set: 4-3
Top offensive players: RB Khalid Walker (Sr.), WR Taiwan Braden (Sr.)
Top defensive players: LB Blake Fitzgerald (Sr.), LB Khalid Walker (Sr.)
Key losses: QB/S Lamaja Cunningham, MLB Kaleb Friedman, DE Kyle Reynolds