If Del Sol is going to make a serious statement in the Sunrise Region, the Dragons might look back to Thursday’s victory at Las Vegas as the springboard.
In past seasons between the two, it was the Wildcats who made the plays in the fourth quarter to down the Dragons.
On Thursday night, it was the Del Sol defense that made the biggest play.
Dezerick Reed intercepted Wildcats quarterback Hasaan Henderson at the Dragons 15 on the game’s final play as Del Sol held on for a 33-28 win.
“It’s about time that we finally finish in the fourth quarter,” Del Sol coach Preston Goroff said. “On the final play, we told the players to play hard, give a good pass rush and don’t get a penalty.”
The Dragons (3-0) did all three, stopping a furious Wildcats rally.
Las Vegas (2-1) trailed 33-6 heading into the fourth quarter, but the Henderson-led Wildcats scored three touchdowns in a four-minute span.
Henderson had touchdown runs of 6 and 46 yards while Farrell Victor added a 5-yard scoring run.
Las Vegas started its final possession at its 28 with 3:32 remaining. Henderson completed five passes to Saeveon Butler during the drive and then kept the Wildcats’ hopes alive with a key third-down gain to the Del Sol 24.
On third down, Henderson overthrew Butler, and Reed made the interception to preserve the win.
“We knew Vegas wouldn’t quit,” Goroff said. “But we made the final play to win. We did a great job in the passing game, and that helped us to the big lead.”
The Wildcats took the opening kickoff and marched 74 yards for the score, a Henderson 1-yard run.
From there, it was all Del Sol, which held Las Vegas to 81 yards after that opening drive until the fourth period.
The Dragons scored 33 straight points, including three touchdown passes by quarterback Troy Miller. Del Sol took advantage of three Las Vegas turnovers during the stretch.
Reed started the scoring with a 5-yard run, giving the Dragons the lead for the first time. Miller then threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Ashton Cacho and scoring strikes of 55 and 14 yards to Evan Weinstock.
The Dragons pushed the lead to 27 with 6:01 left in the third quarter on Reed’s second score of the night, on a 32-yard run.
Miller was 10 of 15 for 158 yards, with Weinstock grabbing five for 89. Reed added 92 yards on 21 carries for Del Sol.
Henderson gained 116 yards on 19 carries and completed 23 of 36 passes for 234 yards for Las Vegas.
Butler had nine catches for 96 yards for the Wildcats, and Maotoi Pearson added seven grabs for 65.