Foothill High’s Kyle Keplinger was so busy scoring touchdowns Friday that he failed to notice he was having a career night.
The senior wide receiver caught three first-half TD passes and also scored on a kickoff return to spark the fifth-ranked Falcons to a 43-26 home victory over Canyon Springs.
“I honesty didn’t even notice I was having a good night,” said Keplinger, whose team needed less than six minutes to build a 20-0 lead. “I was just trying my hardest to do it for the team.”
Foothill (2-0) wasted no time taking control, as Jeremy Purdie ended the Pioneers’ first possession by blocking a punt and running it back six yards for a TD.
The Falcons’ first two possessions were capped by touchdown passes from Drew Doxtator to Keplinger to make it 20-0 with 6:42 left in the quarter.
Canyon Springs (0-2), which compiled 184 first-half yards while holding Foothill to 97, erased any chance of rallying by turning the ball over five times.
“Field position was huge,” said Foothill coach Martin Redmond, whose team scored 20 points off turnovers. “Our special teams and defense came up big.”
Donnell Pumphrey scored the first of his four touchdowns on a 47-yard run to cut the Pioneers’ deficit to 20-6, but Keplinger answered with a 10-yard TD reception from Doxtator early in the second quarter.
“Kyle is just a special kid,” Redmond said. “We try to find different ways to get him the ball.”
After Pumphrey scored on a 3-yard run to make it 27-14 with 17 seconds left in the first half, Keplinger found a new way to score when he returned the ensuing kick 86 yards to give Foothill a 34-14 lead at halftime.
The Falcons needed only five second-half plays to extend their lead to 40-14 on a 9-yard run by Jarrett Arcangel.
Though Pumphrey scored on a 48-yard run late in the third quarter and a 91-yard pass from Gerad Davis in the closing minutes, Vincent Franzeo put an exclamation point on Foothill’s victory by nailing a 33-yard field goal.
Doxtator completed 13 of 16 passes for 106 yards and three touchdowns for the Falcons, and teammate Naim Muhammad rushed seven times for 62 yards. Keplinger finished with 69 yards on seven receptions.
Pumphrey carried 20 times for 169 yards to lead Canyon Springs.
Las Vegas 24, Centennial 21 — At Centennial, Farrell Victor scored two second-half touchdowns and rushed for 209 yards on 15 carries, and the No. 4 Wildcats (2-0) beat the Bulldogs (0-1) in a back-and-forth battle.
Centennial led 21-10 at halftime, taking advantage of three Las Vegas fumbles, but the Wildcats shifted the momentum by forcing consecutive three-and-outs to start the third quarter.
Victor scored on a 16-yard run off left guard to cap an 80-yard drive, triggered by Hasaan Henderson’s 41-yard scramble on the first play.
Centennial’s Matthew Kane missed a 32-yard field goal after a 10-play, six-minute drive in the fourth quarter and the Wildcats took over on their own 15-yard line with 5:36 remaining.
Victor ran on four out of the next five plays, capped by his electrifying 55-yard TD sprint off the right side for a 24-21 lead with 4:34 left.
Centennial manufactured a 73-yard drive on 10 straight carries by Jacobi Owens to reach the Wildcats’ 7 before calling timeout on fourth-and-3 with 17 seconds to play.
Rather than attempt a tying 24-yard field goal, the Bulldogs went for it. Austin Turley connected with Najeem Popal in the back right corner of the end zone, but Popal was ruled out of bounds.
Henderson passed for 102 yards, including a 74-yard TD hookup to Jace Turner early in the second quarter.
Centennial’s Owens accumulated 275 yards on 40 carries, including a 55-yard second-quarter score.
— Brennan Karle
Liberty 35, Desert Pines 21 — At Liberty, Jeremy Lagasca scored on a heads-up play to highlight the No. 8 Patriots’ comeback over the Jaguars.
On the final play of the first half, Desert Pines kicker Gustavo Galvan attempted a 58-yard field goal. The kick fell well short, and Lagasca grabbed the ball and raced downfield. With the Jaguars walking off the field, Lagasca went untouched for an 82-yard touchdown to tie the game at 21.
After that, the game belonged to Liberty as the Patriots (1-1) wore down the Jaguars (0-2) with a bruising ground game. The Kapeli brothers — Niko and Jordan — carried the load in the second half, combining for 139 yards rushing and both Liberty touchdowns. The Patriots finished with 303 yards on the ground, led by Niko Kapeli’s 187 on 32 carries and Jordan Kapeli’s 77 on 12 carries.
The Jaguars, who led 21-7, rushed for 230 yards but were held to 19 total yards in the second half.
Eric Wilkes opened the scoring for Desert Pines with a 74-yard run midway through the first quarter, but Jordan Kapeli answered with a 9-yard TD run.
Darel Allen-Tucker of Desert Pines scored on a 28-yard reverse, and Leon Hayes’ 89-yard TD run to open the second quarter pushed the Jaguars’ lead to 21-7.
Liberty sophomore Tyler Newman, in his first varsity start at quarterback, found Kimo Seau on a 10-yard TD with 2:19 left before halftime.
Newman replaced Kai Nacua, who was hurt in last week’s loss to Arbor View. Nacua is expected back in two weeks when Liberty opens league play against Silverado.
— Sam Leeper
Faith Lutheran 29, Shadow Ridge 16 — At Faith Lutheran, Shawn Balva and Brad Pearson returned interceptions for touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and the Crusaders defeated the Mustangs in both teams’ opener.
Gino DeGeorge threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Chris Mays on the second play of the fourth quarter to put Faith Lutheran ahead to stay, 14-10.
Austin Daykin also scored on a 2-yard run for the Crusaders.
For Shadow Ridge, James Grigsby kicked a 34-yard field goal, Chris Edwards scored on a 4-yard run and Alex Wise caught an 8-yard TD pass from Justin Nehls.
— Neil Grepke
Cimarron-Memorial 28, Mojave 7 — At Cimarron, Gerard Martinez threw second-quarter touchdown passes to Daniel Stewart and Anthony Turner, fueling the ninth-ranked Spartans (2-0, 1-0 Northwest) over the Rattlers (0-1, 0-1).
Junior Tuilealatasi Taoipu rushed for 34 yards and Cimarron’s other two touchdowns, and senior Demaryae Williams rushed for 138 yards.
Mojave senior Bryant Lewis scored on a 90-yard kickoff return in the second quarter.
— Kevin Porter
Clark 41, Western 18 — At Western, the Chargers rolled over the Warriors in both teams’ season opener.
Senior Marquise McKinney rushed for 183 yards on 15 carries, including two touchdowns, and also had two catches for 46 yards with a touchdown.
Senior Shane McLin rushed for 100 yards and a TD on 18 carries, while Cooper Platt passed for 76 yards (3-for-5) and a touchdown and ran for a score.
Western’s Reggie Williams scored on an 80-yard kickoff return and had 79 yards on 17 carries.
Qwajon Walker scored on a 66-yard fumble return in the second quarter.
— Adam Eslinger
Bonanza 58, Pahrump Valley 21 — At Pahrump, Jayveon Taylor rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns on three carries as the Bengals (2-0, 1-0 Southwest) routed the Trojans (0-1, 0-1).
Brett Doyle passed for 244 yards and two touchdowns for the Bengals. He had a 53-yard TD pass to Colton Bennion and a 60-yard scoring strike to Jordan Ozosky.
Bennion also scored on a 35-yard run. Taylor had TD runs of 58 and 48 yards.
Pahrump’s A.J. Segura passed for 152 yards and a touchdown and scored on two 3-yard runs.
— Don McDermott
Basic 46, Rancho 0 — At Basic, the Wolves (1-1) used a 26-point second quarter to roll past the Rams (0-2).
Junior Devonte Boyd made the first of his two interceptions and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game.
Mike Roberts scored on two 1-yard runs to trigger Basic’s second-quarter surge. Sophomore Antraye Johnson caught a 15-yard TD pass from Eddie Vega, then scored on a 13-yard run to give the Wolves a 33-0 halftime lead.
Boyd also scored on a 47-yard pass from Jalen Rose and had 125 yards receiving. Vega threw for 146 yards and two TD, including an 11-yard score to Tyrus Williams.
— Alan Abair
Coronado 45, Sunrise Mountain 0 — At Coronado, the Cougars romped in their opener, with Christopher Johnson rushing for 124 yards and four touchdowns to anchor a running game that compiled 387 yards.
Nate Webb scored on a 55-yard run, breaking several tackles and hurdling a would-be tackler.
Coronado forced two fumbles, made two interceptions and limited Sunrise Mountain (0-1) to 36 total yards.
— Steve Spigelmyer
Virgin Valley 22, Sierra Vista 13 — At Sierra Vista, the Class 3A Bulldogs (2-0) pulled away from a scoreless halftime tie for a 22-0 fourth-quarter lead and held on to beat the 4A Mountain Lions (0-1).
Virgin Valley recovered a Sierra Vista fumble with 9:38 left in the third. One play later, Humberto Urias found Kyle Tostenson wide open for a 37-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline for the game’s first points.
Urias passed for 141 yards and two TDs, including a 3-yard strike to Tostenson early in the fourth.
Justin Green scored on an 80-yard run and Taz Wilson hit Matt Murphy for a 15-yard TD to bring Sierra Vista within 22-13 late, but the Mountain Lions couldn’t complete the comeback.
Green rushed for 159 yards on 21 carries for Sierra Vista. Ramarius Cooley supplied a sack and an interception.
Tostenson caught three passes for 72 yards and two TDs for Virgin Valley, which sacked Wilson four times.
Virgin Valley has beaten 4A opponents by a combined score of 65-19 in the first two weeks.
— Tristan Aird
Moapa Valley 54, Chaparral 6 — At Overton, Sean McConnell rushed for 58 yards and four touchdowns on eight carries to spark the Pirates (2-1) to a rout of the Cowboys (0-1).
McConnell scored three times in the second quarter on a 55-yard punt return and two 7-yard runs. He also opened the scoring with a 4-yard rush.
Conner Mortensen supplied 57 yards and three touchdowns on seven rushes, and Dakota Gordon had 67 yards including a 3-yard score.
Chaparral’s Antonio Smith rushed for 75 yards on 10 carries, including a 20-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Durango 21, Spring Valley 6 — At Spring Valley, the Trailblazers (1-1, 1-0 Southwest) pulled away from a 6-6 halftime tie to beat the Grizzlies (0-1, 0-1). Nick Santos rushed for 80 yards for Spring Valley.
Eldorado 16, Boulder City 13 — At Eldorado, Javen Nihipali returned a kickoff 74 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter to ignite the Sundevils (1-0) over the Eagles (1-1).
Running back Zaccheus Davis added a 5-yard touchdown early in the second half to put the Sundevils up for good. Boulder City running back Xavier Steel had 93 all-purpose yards, including a 20-yard touchdown run.
— Brian Danise
Pahranagat Valley 50, Joshua Springs (Calif.) 42 — At Yucca Valley, Calif., the Panthers (2-0) rallied from a 42-20 fourth-quarter deficit to down the Lightning (0-1).
By beating the defending California Southern Section Eight-Man Division II champions, Pahranagat extended its winning streak to 36 games.
Pahranagat quarterback Austin Poulsen ran for five touchdowns, including a 7-yard scamper to break a 42-42 tie late. He then hit Kade Wadsworth for a 2-point conversion.
Poulsen then came up with an interception while playing cornerback on the ensuing drive, and the Panthers ran out the clock to beat Joshua Springs for the second consecutive season.
“It’s fun to keep the win streak alive, but it’s more fun to have these kids be down 22 in the fourth quarter and win,” Panthers coach Ken Higbee said.
“It was a phenomenal game. It was good to get out of there with a win.”
Tyler Higbee had one TD rushing and another receiving for Pahranagat.
Spring Mountain 68, Beaver Dam (Ariz.) 0 — At Mesquite, Leroy Freeman returned the opening kickoff for one of his four touchdowns for the Golden Eagles (1-0).
Freeman also hauled in two touchdown passes and returned an interception for a score.
Diamond Ranch (Utah) 25, Agassi Prep 18 — At St. George, Utah, Diamond Ranch gained its second win over the Stars in an eight-day span.
Terrell Kemp threw for two touchdowns and ran for one to lead Agassi Prep (0-2), which lost to Diamond Ranch 26-8 on Aug. 25.
Kendrick Glinton and freshman Kobe Williams caught touchdown passes for the Stars.