His team had not played in nearly a month, so Basic football coach Jeff Cahill was a little nervous about what to expect Friday night.
His fears were justified.
The Wolves made countless mistakes, but somehow withstood a frantic fourth-quarter rally by visiting Las Vegas High to hold on for a 42-35 home victory.
Jordan Smith carried 11 times for 112 yards and a touchdown to lead Basic, and teammate Paul Myro completed 9-of-19 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns.
The Wolves had not played a game since August 31, when a wild brawl against Clark resulted in the Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association’s decision to hand down three consecutive forfeits to Cahill’s squad.
“We made a lot of mistakes tonight,” Cahill said. “They were almost like first-game mistakes.”
But the Wolves (2-3) led most of the game and enjoyed a 35-21 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats made the most of an interception on their next drive, however, and cut the deficit to 35-28 on an 11-yard pass from Ja’Shawn Scroggins to Jay Curtis with 5:22 remaining.
Basic could not move the ball on its next possession, and a weak punt gave the Wildcats good field possession. A fourth-down touchdown pass from Scroggins to Darin Akua made it 35-34, and Brian Batres tied it when his extra-point kick barely cleared the uprights with 1:41 remaining.
Cahill got a good runback on the ensuing kick, and said he still believed his team had just enough energy left.
“I was just hoping for a field goal, and once we got to the 50 on that return, I thought we had a pretty good chance,” he said.
Basic needed just four plays to put the ball in the end zone, going ahead 42-35 with a 33-yard pass from Myro to Franco Mays with 58 seconds to play.
The Wildcats quickly answered by marching the ball down to the Basic 30-yard line, but two final passes into the end zone fell incomplete.
“We made the plays when we had to,” Cahill said. “It wasn’t pretty, but we made those last two plays.”
Scroggins completed 22-of-46 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns to lead Las Vegas (2-3), and he also scored on a third-quarter run. Teammate Cody Summer had 74 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
Akau had two touchdown catches.
Trace Evans had two rushing touchdowns for Basic, and teammate Steven Justice had a 30-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.