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Trojans win season opener

All eyes in Southern Nevada were focused on weather apps beginning Friday night and throughout the weekend.

The whole Southwest region got news they’d never heard before – or at least they hadn’t heard it in a very long time.

The news: a hurricane is approaching.

It’s rare that the southern Nevada area gets rain. But to get hit by a hurricane? That’s almost unheard of.

Many sporting events throughout the area had been either delayed or suspended, and some of them were even canceled altogether.

Pahrump Valley had two events that were affected by the weather.

The school’s cross-country race at Mission Hills Park in Henderson was canceled. When the teams arrived, they were alerted of the cancellation and had to turn around to go home.

The Trojans’ football game also fell victim to the weather.

As the junior varsity game was ending and people were filing in to watch the varsity players take the field, dark clouds were rolling in the distance.

By kickoff, the sky was beginning to be covered in dark clouds.

The Trojans and the Somerset Losee Lions began their game as normal.

Pahrump was able to stop the Lions on their first offensive drive of the game on Pahrump’s own 6-yard line after Losee failed to convert a fourth-down attempt.

Senior quarterback Brennen Benedict took the first snap of the game for the Trojans up the middle on a quarterback keeper and sprinted to the end zone for a 94-yard touchdown.

The play electrified the stadium, sending the fans, players and coaches into a frenzy.

Benedict, normally a running back, got the start at quarterback while sophomore Kayne Horibe is still rehabbing from a torn ligament in his shoulder.

He rushed for nearly 200 yards and scored all three of the Trojans’ touchdowns.

The Pahrump Valley defense had some struggles in the first half in the running game. Losee was able to take advantage of the youthfulness of the Trojan defenders.

While the Lions didn’t have much, if any, success running up the middle, they were able to get some big-chunk plays on the ground by running to the outside.

This helped Losee not only tie the game early in the second quarter, but they were able to continue their running success to take a 13-6 lead.

With lightning bolts striking every few minutes in the night sky, Pahrump Valley went into the locker room at halftime trailing, 13-6.

Both teams were subject to some, well, let’s just say questionable refereeing. However, it more so went against Pahrump Valley.

Multiple times throughout the first half of the game there were multiple missed penalties and a major potential missed call that was a key play on a scoring drive by Losee.

Late in the first quarter, Losee was driving and called a pass play in their end of the field.

The Lions’ sophomore quarterback, Jaire Thomas-Horne, dropped back for a pass and threw up a jump-ball between Losee’s receiver and Pahrump Valley’s defensive back, Brandon Ondrisko.

Despite Ondrisko catching the ball and going to the ground with the ball in his hands, the referees credited Losee with a completion.

The Lions would go on to score their first touchdown of the game later that drive.

At the half, Pahrump Valley head coach Thom Walker talked to his team about stepping up their defense to stop the Losee rushing attack if they wanted to win the game.

“After halftime, the adjustments that we made, I thought we came out and dominated that third quarter,” Walker said. “I thought we played really well, especially being our first game.”

In addition to the defense stepping up, the Trojan offense caught fire in the second half.

After the Lions were flagged for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on the opening kickoff, Pahrump Valley’s drive began on their own 45-yard line.

Two plays later, following a 25-yard rush by senior running back LJ Reddick, the Trojans found the end zone on a 35-yard rush by Benedict for his second touchdown of the game.

Pahrump cut Losee’s lead down to just one point, 13-12.

During all of the action on the field, the weather was still closely being monitored off the field.

Pahrump Valley’s athletic administrator, Jason Odegard, was following all of the lightning strikes in the area.

If there is any lightning strike within a 10-mile radius of the school the game will have to be delayed.

At halftime, the strikes were just outside the 10-mile range at 10.2 miles.

The distance remained the same until late in the third quarter.

Shortly after the Trojans took an 18-13 lead, the unwanted happened. The lightning strikes moved inside of the 10-mile range.

Once the first strike happened at 9 miles, Odegard had no other decision than to alert the referees and have the game paused with less than 20 seconds to go in the third quarter.

Once a game is delayed due to lightning, the teams must wait 30 minutes from the most recent strike inside the 10-mile range before they can return to the field.

After being delayed for an hour, the referees decided to call the game and award the Trojans with the victory.

“We wanted to play, we wanted to finish it,” Walker said. “Both teams really wanted to finish, but it didn’t happen. So, it is what it is.”

The game was just 15 minutes away from being able to resume, but the refs thought it would be better to call the game instead of waiting.

Pahrump will be off this upcoming Friday. They’ll return to the field on Friday, Sept. 1 in their first road game of the season.

The Trojans will travel to Del Sol Academy to take on the Dragons of the 4A division.

Del Sol’s game against Cheyenne, which was scheduled for Friday night, was one of the games in the Las Vegas Valley that was canceled due to the weather.

They’ll play the Somerset Lions this Friday in a road game before next week’s matchup with the Trojans.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Contact sports writer/editor Danny Smyth at dsmyth@pvtimes.com. Follow @_dannysmyth on Twitter.

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