The Las Vegas High football team spent 48 minutes on the field Friday, but one particular minute made most of the difference.
The third-ranked Wildcats returned back-to-back fumbles for touchdowns over a 60-second span in the third quarter and went on to edge host Basic, 28-21.
Las Vegas (6-1) trailed 13-7 when Jayson Stetson recovered the first Wolves fumble. He ran it back for a 23-yard touchdown to give his team a 14-13 lead with 4:45 left in the third. Teammate Ray Langston scooped up a second loose ball a minute later, returning it four yards to extend the lead to 21-13.
“Sometimes when things turn around like that, kids get down a bit,” Wildcats coach Chris Faircloth said. “(Basic) made a second mistake, and we were able to capitalize both times.”
Faircloth’s team made its own key miscue in the first quarter, as Omar Valenzuela intercepted an Emir Lopez pass and returned it 67 yards to give Basic (5-2) a 7-0 lead.
“That’s football,” Faircloth said. “We made a mistake and they capitalized to take the momentum.”
The ninth-ranked Wolves went ahead 13-0 on a 15-yard pass from Robby Faiman to Justin Burdno early in the second quarter.
Lopez responded by hitting Aaron Franklin with a 37-yard TD pass late in the quarter, cutting the Wildcats’ deficit to 13-7 at halftime.
After falling behind with the fumbles in the third quarter, the Wolves battled back to tie it in the fourth on another TD pass from Faiman to Burdno with 6:55 to play.
But Las Vegas answered with a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown run by Reggie Bullock.
Faiman, who completed 10 of 20 passes, led the Wolves deep into Las Vegas territory in the game’s final minute. But his last pass was batted down near the end zone as time expired.
Faircloth said he wasn’t surprised to see such a close battle.
“We knew it was going to be a hell of a game,” he said. “We knew they were a good football team and it was going to be tight.”
Cimarron-Memorial 33, Mojave 6 — At Mojave, junior tailback Stephen Nixon rushed the ball 13 times for 162 yards and one touchdown while other junior tailback James Poole scored on two bursts up the middle as the Spartans coasted to victory over the winless Rattlers.
Cimarron’s first touchdown came on a 30-yard fumble recovery from Timothy Hassan with 5:22 to go in the first quarter. Two minutes later, the Spartans defense forced a fumble that led to a 5-yard touchdown run by Poole.
Poole finished with 100 yards rushing on 12 carries for Cimarron-Memorial (4-3, 3-1, Northwest).
Mojave (0-6, 0-4) was led by senior quarterback Mike Montgomery, who rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown and completed 2 of 6 passes for 28 yards.
Bishop Gorman 41, Sierra Vista 26 — At Bishop Gorman, senior quarterback Joe Huber rushed for two touchdowns and threw for two more to lead the second-ranked Gaels past the Mountain Lions.
Huber had TD runs of 21 and 3 yards in the first quarter for Gorman (7-1, 4-0 Southwest). He added a 3-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Spencer, and Kawika Antolin had a 39-yard TD run as the Gaels rolled to a 28-0 second-quarter lead.
After leading 28-12 at halftime, Gorman seized control in the third quarter. The Gaels marched 80 yards in 12 plays on the opening possession of the second half, capped by Raphel Finley’s 2-yard touchdown run.
After Gaels lineman Miles Langston blocked a punt on the Mountain Lions’ next possession, Huber drove Gorman 50 yards in seven plays, connecting with Spencer on an 11-yard TD pass to make it 41-12 with 45 seconds left in the third quarter.
Spencer hit 8 of 15 passes for 99 yards and rushed for 75 yards on six carries. Antolin had 88 rushing yards on nine carries.
Senior defensive end Justin Chaisson led the Gaels’ defense with two sacks as Gorman held Sierra Vista to 2 yards of offense in the third quarter and 93 in the second half.
Akil Sharp rushed for 106 yards on 17 carries for the Mountain Lions (2-5, 1-3). His 66-yard run set up Sierra Vista’s first score in the second quarter, then he added a 3-yard TD run to bring his team to within two scores with 10 seconds left in the first half.
Jeremy Green threw for 140 yards for Sierra Vista, and Darian Yahyavi had nine receptions for 117 yards and two scores for the Mountain Lions.
Del Sol 12, Coronado 7 — At Coronado, the penalty-plagued Dragons (6-1, 3-0) held off the stubborn host Cougars in a 12-7 Southeast conference battle.
Despite being held to just 23 first half yards by Del Sol’s physical defense, Coronado (2-5, 0-4) kept the game close as a result numerous Del Sol miscues and a solid defense.
The Dragons commmitted three turnovers and 16 penalties, two of which resulted in touchdown runs being called back. Coronado had its own problems holding onto the ball, commtting three turnovers, and having a field goal blocked late in the second quarter.
After having a 17 yard first-quarter TD run called back as a result of a holding call, Dragons running back Derek Eamon, a Coronado transfer, scored on a 7-yard run late in the second quarter to give Del Sol a 6-0 halftime lead. Eamon finished the game with 105 rushing yards on 20 carries against his former team.
Del Sol quarterback Saei Huihui hit fullback Jon Kirschbaum on a 6-yard TD pass with 2:17 to go in the third quarter, extending the lead to 12-0. The fourth-and-goal TD pass capped a 13 play, 72 yard scoring drive for the Dragons.
Coronado’s only score came on a 52-yard burst by tailback Kenny Lawrence with 3:12 left in the game.
Del Sol ran the clock out after the Cougars failed to convert an onside kick.
Eldorado 22, Canyon Springs 15 — At Eldorado, Tone Gatewood rushed for 90 yards on 26 carries and scored one touchdown to lift the Sun Devils (4-3, 2-1 Northeast) over the visiting Pioneers (0-6, 0-3).
Eldorado capitalized on good field position early on, scoring two touchdowns within the first 10 minutes on possessions that began deep within Pioneer territory. But the game was sealed late in the third quarter when quarterback JaQuorrey Williams hooked up with Charles White for a 47-yard touchdown pass.
For the Pioneers, Curtis Davis rushed the ball 13 times for 95 yards and one touchdown while wide receiver Deshaun Stewart hauled in 4 passes for 72 yards.
Palo Verde 42, Shadow Ridge 6 — At Palo Verde, the Mustangs (2-5, 1-3 Northwest) were held to to 80 yards of offense and the top-ranked Panthers (7-0, 4-0) tallied 465 rushing yards and scored 42 consecutive points as they rolled to victory.
Miguel Martinez returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown to give Shadow Ridge an early lead. But the Mustangs would have no answer for Palo Verde’s rushing attack. The Panthers took the lead on the following drive when Tyrone Blake scored on a 15-yard run.
Blake added another touchdown late in the game and finished with 175 yards on 15 carries. Chaz Thomas entered the game in the second quarter and scored a 58-yard touchdown run on his first play, which gave Palo Verde a 14-6 lead at halftime.
Blake’s 20-yard rush on fourth down extended the Panthers first drive of the second half, and three plays later Thomas scored on a 34-yard run. Thomas added an 87-yard TD and finished with 194 yards on nine attempts.
Foothill 21, Silverado 17 — At Silverado, Algernon Sewell rushed for 174 yards on 34 carries and scored two touchdowns to help the Falcons (3-4, 1-2 Southeast) regain the El Camino bell against rival Silverado (4-3, 1-3).
The fourth quarter started with the Skyhawks leading 17-14. But Aaron Dupin completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to FJ Funtila with 10:19 to play to put Foothill up for good.
A stagnant offense that only managed 96 yards of total offense, hindered Silverado.
But the Skyhawks defense and special teams each scored a touchdown, keeping the team in the game.
Terran Madu-jules led Silverado with 44 yards on nine carries.
Arbor View 28, Centennial 7 — At Centennial, the Aggies (5-2, 2-2 Northwest) rushed for 397 yards and coasted past the Bulldogs (2-5, 0-4).
Sophomore Taylor Wooten, who rushed for 152 yards, scored on a 6-yard run on Arbor View’s opening drive to make it 6-0.
Centennial offensive lineman William Smith recovered a fumble in the end zone with 7:53 in the second quarter to make it 7-6 at the half.
Arbor View senior Gabe Toney, who rushed for 164 yards, scored on runs of 1 and a 3 yards in the third quarter to take a 21-7 lead.
The Aggies’ ground attack led a 99-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Wooten to seal the win in the fourth quarter.
Bonanza 34, Durango 6 — At Bonanza, quarterback Sterling Sprau threw three touchdown passes and ran for another as the Bengals won their fifth straight game.
With the win, the Bengals remain tied with Bishop Gorman atop the Southwest Division.
Sprau threw for 163 yards and had TD tosses of 60 and 18 yards to Aaron Simon and 25 yards to Delano Helmuth. In addition, Sprau had a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
The Bengals (5-2, 4-0 Southwest) gained 440 total yards, led by Antonio Beals’ 201 on 37 carries and one score.
Durango, outscored 252-56 in its six losses, scored with 8:57 remaining as sophomore Julio Mora raced 65 yards for the touchdown. The Trailblazers had just 92 yards rushing on 26 tries.
Bonanza held Durango (1-6, 1-3 Southwest) to 191 yards, 76 in the second half. However, the Bengals were flagged 20 times on penalties for 197 yards.
Green Valley 17, Liberty 0 — At Green Valley, the host Gators received a dominating performance from their defense and special teams to shut out the Patriots on homecoming.
It was the fourth straight win for Green Valley and sets up a first-place showdown in the Southeast League at No. 5 Del Sol next week.
Taylor Jones rushed for 57 yards and scored on a 2-yard run early in the second quarter to make it 10-0, while Quincy Bagsby added 62 yards for the Gators (5-2, 3-0 Southeast). Quarterback Nick Libonati finished the scoring with a 30-yard touchdown with 25 seconds remaining in the game.
Liberty (3-4, 1-3) was held to 58 yards on the ground and 102 total yards, 31 of which came on a pass from Robert Gilliland to Shawn Murray on the final play of the first half. Murray led the Patriots with 44 yards rushing.
Green Valley’s special teams were a key factor throughout. Junior Nolan Kohorst nailed a 50-yard field goal to open the scoring midway through the first quarter and punter Jordan Miller twice pinned the Patriots inside their own 5-yard line.
Miller’s first punt was downed at the Liberty 1 and after the Patriots were forced to punt, Green Valley took over at the Liberty 26. The field position led to Jones’ touchdown run on the third play of the second quarter.
Spring Valley 47, Western 7 — At Western, Jacques Adams ran for 150 yards and three touchdowns to lead visiting Spring Valley (5-1, 3-1 Southwest) in a rout of Western.
The Grizzlies scored 28 points and recovered two onside kicks in the first quarter to set the tone for the game.
Spring Valley quarterback Anton Stallworth ran for two touchdowns including a 90-yard burst at the beginning of the second half. He also threw two touchdown passes of 11 and 20 yards to Brandon Lopez in the first quarter.
Spring Valley held Western to just 89 yards of offense and forced four turnovers Western (1-5, 1-3) had its only score with 1:48 left in the game when quarterback Devin Wiedemann connected with Dante Warren on a 2-yard touchdown pass.
Valley 32, Chaparral 26 — At Valley, Kerwynn Williams scored the Vikings’ last three touchdowns and five total touchdowns in Valley’s double-overtime win against the Cowboys.
After Chaparral punted the ball to Valley’s 5-yard line the Vikings took over with 7:45 left in regulation trailing, 20-12.
Williams carried the ball six times for 60 yards and scored the game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion to send the game to overtime. Williams finished with 20 carries for 237 yards.
In the first overtime possession, Cowboys quarterback Jermal Turner’s third-down pass fell incomplete, but a pass interference penalty gave Chaparral a new set of downs. Valley was penalized 13 times in the game for 115 yards.
Clark 41, Pahrump Valley 14 — At Pahrump, Andre Clay rushed for 118 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Chargers (2-5, 2-2 Southwest) over the Trojans (1-6, 0-4).
Clay scored on runs of 5 yards, 50 yards and 1 yard. Aaron Arlt added 135 rushing yards and a TD for Clark, which led 27-14 at the half.
Pahrump’s touchdowns came on a 74-yard pass from Chase Williams to Daniel Shimakawa and a 65-yard run by Anderson Floyd, who finished with 209 yards on 25 carries.
Floyd has rushed for 609 yards in four Southwest games this season.