Moapa Valley High School’s football team shattered the Virgin Valley High School Bulldog’s dream of bringing a Southern 3A Championship home to Mesquite with a resounding 48-26 defeat of the Dawgs. The Pirates win keeps the ‘Hammer’ in Moapa for another year. The Bulldog team shocked the Pirates fan base early in the first period as Benson Leavitt intercepted a Pirate pass and took it downtown for a 37 yard touchdown with only .48 seconds expired in the game. The Bulldogs kept the Pirate fan’s reeling on their second possession knocking the ball loose giving the Dawgs a first and ten on the Bulldogs 31 yard line. The Bulldogs were forced to punt. Moapa started their next drive with a 35 yard completion to the Dawgs 35 yard line. The Pirates drive fizzled on the 26 yard line behind a big sack from Bulldog Martin Jordan. The First period ended with the Dawgs up by a score of 7-0. The second period was all Moapa Valley as the Bulldogs could manage only one first down in the period. The Pirates put up 24 points in the period including two touchdowns with a little over one minute remaining in the first half. The big plays coming from Pirate Dustin Gordon, who scored on a short pass into the end zone followed by an errant Bulldog pass intercepting from 37 yards out for the score. The two scores broke the back of the Dawgs and gave the Pirates a huge momentum swing going into the break.

Bulldog Benson Leavitt intercepts a Pirates pass for a 37 yard score on the games second play
Photo by Lou Martin

The Bulldogs were stopped in their first two possessions of the second half as the Pirates defense stiffened forcing two Bulldog punts. Gordon was again the man of the hour with an interception setting up the Pirates next score giving his team a 32-7 advantage. The Bulldogs took advantage of a Pirates fumble on the Dawgs 11 yard line and marched 89 yards for a T.D. cutting the Pirates lead to 32-14. The big play found Leavitt going the final two yards on a diving catch for the score. The Pirates countered the Dawgs score to begin the last period with a long drive of their own to increase their lead to 39-14. The Bulldogs continued to move the ball behind the passing of Gavin Brown to Leavitt and Cutler Crandall who had been inactive the past few weeks with an injury. The Bulldogs cut the Pirates lead to 39-21 on a Brown pass to Leavitt from 5 yards out for the score. After a failed onside kick by the Bulldogs, Moapa started their next drive on the their 49 yard line and seemed to be held by the Dawgs defense, but after a Dawg timeout, Moapa struck quickly as their receiver was left all alone for a 35 yard T.D. upping the Pirates lead to 46-21 with 1:08 remaining in the game. The never say die Bulldogs responded behind a 39 yard completion to Cameron Perkins and the final 18 yards to Crandall making the final score 46-28. “Our offense stunk” said Bulldog coach Matt Woods. “We gave up to many big plays and had only 55 yards of offense in the first half. We have a few more days to get our injured players back in the game before the playoffs begin.”

The real season begins on Thursday as the Bulldogs host Eldorado High School at 6 pm. The Bulldogs crushed the Sun Devils earlier in the season by a score of 47-0. The winner will travel to Pahrump on Friday November 5 to face the Trojans and a place in the Nevada 3A Championship. The Bulldogs ran by the Trojans also early in the season 48-18.

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