Arbor View showed why it is the top seed from the Northwest League on Friday night by pounding Mojave 52-6 in the first round of the Class 4A Mountain Region playoffs.
The Aggies will host Desert Pines, the No. 2 seed from the Northeast League, in the second round next week.
“If you lose, you’re out. So we live to fight another week, so we’re pretty excited,” Arbor View coach Dan Barnson said. “We challenged them to go out and do what they were expected to do in the first half, and they did. Mojave did really well making the playoffs. They surprised a lot of people, but they’ve got some good talent over there.”
The Aggies (10-1) lived up to Barnson’s expectations and made quick work of the Rattlers, the fourth seed from the Northeast.
Arbor View running back Kyle Graham, Southern Nevada’s leading rusher, ran for 131 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries to help the Aggies put the game away early.
His three scores came in the first 15 minutes.
“He’s amazing,” senior offensive lineman Lyle Santos said. “It makes things so much easier knowing he’s going to look for the hole, and if it isn’t there then he’s going to make his own hole. I’ve been playing with him forever.
“He works so hard. He gets all this praise, but he’s the first one to reward our offensive line for working hard. It’s awesome blocking for him.”
Sophomore quarterback Jack Branham, in his first playoff start filling in for the injured Logan Bollinger, connected with York St. Hillaire on an 11-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter, and Easton Jones made a 40-yard field goal late in the first half to give the Aggies a 31-0 halftime lead.
“Jack’s come in and done exactly what we want,” Barnson said. “He got the ball to the people we wanted to get the ball to. When we’ve asked him to block, he blocks. When we’ve asked him to throw, which isn’t that much, he puts the ball out there, so really, I can’t ask for anything more than that.”
Arbor View added three more second-half scores via touchdown runs from Jaedyn Jackson, Justin Hausner and Darius Brown.
The Aggies’ defense also was dominant, recording six quarterback sacks and limiting the Rattlers to 18 rushing yards.
Mojave (4-7) added a late score when Noah Thompson hit Isaiah Harper on a 52-yard touchdown pass.