Football coaches like to talk about turning points and key moments when they look back at successful seasons.
Basic High coach Jeff Cahill might be talking about Friday’s game for a long time.
Cahill’s eighth-ranked Wolves took control early and made the most of several key plays en route to a 31-23 season-opening victory at No. 5 Palo Verde.
“This is the first time we have ever beaten Palo Verde,” Cahill said. “We knew this was going to be a physical game, but we felt like we had a good enough team to be able to stand up to them. And we did.”
Jake Waldron rushed eight times for 138 yards and two touchdowns to lead Basic, but several others stepped up to contribute at key moments.
After the Wolves (1-0) fumbled on their first possession, the Panthers took over at the Basic 23-yard line. But Cahill’s defense repelled the drive, and made the most of an 85-yard Waldron run that set up a 3-yard touchdown sprint by Sean White with 8:06 left in the first quarter. An 11-yard TD pass from Aaron McAllister to Deondre Ishman made it 14-0 early in the second.
But Palo Verde (1-1) answered with an 8-yard Thaddeus Wiley TD, and tied it at 14 on a 10-yard pass from Logan Hutchison to Tyler Thornton with 36 seconds left in the half.
But the Wolves managed to move the ball downfield and took a 17-14 lead when Montana Gomez nailed a 31-yard field goal on the final play of the half.
“We didn’t quit there,” Cahill said. “I think that field goal gave us momentum heading into the second half.”
Though the Panthers tied the score at 17 on an Aaron Mack field goal midway through the third quarter, Waldron gave the Wolves a 24-17 lead with a 15-yard run late in the third, and extended the lead to 31-17 early in the fourth with an 11-yard TD.
The Wolves appeared to have the victory in hand until turning the ball over on downs in their own territory with less that four minutes left to play. Palo Verde capped a frantic drive with a 3-yard TD run by Aaron Belshe and recovered the ensuing onside kick to give itself one last chance.
“We probably should have punted there,” Cahill said. “We thought we could get it, and we didn’t want them to get a big kick return.”
Fortunately for Cahill, the Panthers had only 59 seconds remaining, and were unable to answer.
The coach said his players were physically ready to battle late into the game.
“We’ve been conditioning hard, so we’re never going to gas out,” he said. “We’re just going to play hard and see if the other team can take it.”
McAllister completed 7 of 16 passes for 115 yards to help Basic, and White finished with 62 yards on 15 carries.
Trenton Webb rushed for 60 yards on eight carries to lead Palo Verde.
Faith Lutheran 48, Cimarron-Memorial 6 — At Faith Lutheran, the Crusaders fell behind early before scoring the final 48 points of the game in a rout of the Spartans.
Cimarron (0-2) recovered an onside kick to start the game and drove 50 yards, taking its only lead of the game on George Tribble’s 21-yard pass to Marcus Phillips.
Faith Lutheran (1-1) answered by scoring three times in three minutes and putting up seven unanswered touchdowns.
Faith Lutheran quarterback Brenden Joyce was a model of scoring efficiency, notching three rushing touchdowns on just 16 rushing yards, then adding another TD on a 50-yard pass to Brytton Weber. Christian Marshall had 64 rushing yards and a TD for the Crusaders, who forced seven turnovers.
The Spartans got a big night from Tyree Riley, who rushed for 243 yards on 36 carries. Antwaun Rainey ran 16 times for 63 yards. Tribble threw for 115 yards.
Desert Oasis 19, Sierra Vista 6 — At Desert Oasis, Tyshun McClinton rushed 23 times for 145 yards and a touchdown to lead the Diamondbacks over the Mountain Lions.
McClinton also scored on an 84-yard interception return to seal the game for Desert Oasis (2-0) late in the fourth quarter.
Brannon Flowers tossed a 46-yard touchdown pass to Austin Cooper with 3:39 left in the third quarter to put the Diamondbacks up for good at 13-6.
The Mountain Lions (0-2) attempted to rally but with less than two minutes left, McClinton picked off Oscar Aliaga’s pass and ran it back for a score.
McClinton’s 74-yard run with 9:19 to go in the second quarter opened the scoring.
Sierra Vista’s Daniel Godfrey tied the game five minutes later on a 9-yard run. Godfrey finished with 151 yards on 22 carries. Aliaga completed 12 of 18 passes for 112 yards.
Desert Pines 41, Mojave 6 — At Mojave, long fourth-quarter touchdown runs by Isaiah Morris and Trevor Nofoa and a pair of punt return touchdowns allowed the No. 3 Jaguars to pull away from the Rattlers.
After Nick Kline’s touchdown run cut the Desert Pines lead to 14-6 near the end of the third quarter, Morris took the first play from scrimmage in the fourth 65 yards for a score. The Rattlers’ (1-1) punt on the ensuing drive appeared to strike a player, partially blocking it and leading to Vasaifanua Hansell returning the punt 25 yards for a score.
Nofoa took the first play of the next drive 90 yards for a touchdown for Desert Pines (2-0). Amir Calvillo-Tatum wrapped up the scoring with 67-yard punt return after the next Rattler drive stalled.
Both defenses flexed their muscles in the first half, as neither team scored. The Jaguars’ second drive of the third quarter yielded the game’s first points, as Marckell Grayson hit Morris on a 49-yard pass play on a third down and long, setting up a 19-yard pass to Randal Grimes for the touchdown.
The short kickoff that went uncovered by the Rattlers set up the Jaguars deep in the Mojave end, with Grayson finishing the drive with a 2-yard run on fourth and goal.
The Jaguars held the Rattlers to just 122 yards of offense for the game.
Spring Valley 35, Durango 13 — At Spring Valley, Marcus Dawson rushed for 92 yards on six carries, including touchdowns of 54 and 18 yards, to lead the Grizzlies (2-0) over the Trailblazers (0-2).
K.C. Moore hit Julio Rosas Sanchez with a 30-yard TD pass in the second quarter to tie the game at 6-6, and added a 43-yard TD strike to Nicholas Caifano down the right sideline to give Spring Valley a 13-6 lead with 4:22 left in the third quarter.
Durango advanced to the Grizzlies’ 10 yard-line on the ensuing drive, but defensive end Taevian Jacobs caused quarterback Jonathan Scofield to fumble. Dean Balva recovered for Spring Valley with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter.
Four plays later, Dawson raced for the 54-yard score. Raheem Edmonds recovered the following kickoff, leading to a 17-yard TD run by Edmonds.
Kervans Baptiste recovered the ensuing kickoff, which led to Dawson’s 18-yard score and a 35-6 lead.
Moore finished 10-for-20 for 168 yards.
Scofield ran for 82 yards, including scoring runs of 1 and 10 yards.
Clark 23, Del Sol 8 — At Clark, Milan Dixon rushed for 110 yards and freshman quarterback Isiah Bigby came off the bench to score two touchdowns to lead the Chargers (2-0) over the Dragons (0-2).
Dixon was the catalyst on all three of the Chargers’ scoring drives with runs of 24, 56, and 36 yards that preceded the Clark touchdowns.
In the first quarter, Dixon picked up a fumbled snap and dashed 24 yards to the Del Sol 1-yard line. From there, quarterback Nick Kinnard dove into the end zone to give the Chargers a 6-0 lead. Sterling Penniston-John’s extra point increased the lead to 7-0.
After a safety allowed Del Sol to get on the board, the Dragons executed their most successful drive of the night. Sophomore Tariq Flowers rushed for 25 yards and Bo Beagle connected with receiver Jonathan Spearman on a 14-yard touchdown pass with four seconds left in the first half to give Del Sol an 8-7 halftime lead.
Del Sol was held to 7 yards of total offense in the second half.
Bigby rushed for 34 yards and the Chargers’ two second-half scores on runs of 5 and 3 yards. Flowers rushed for 61 yards to lead the Dragons.
Canyon Springs 7, Cheyenne 6 — At Cheyenne, the Pioneers’ Jerrod Blackwell caught a swing pass from Tre’von Dean and turned the corner into the end zone for a 6-yard score on the third play of overtime to give the Pioneers the win over the Desert Shields.
Cesar Barron-Rodriguez added the extra point which would prove to be the margin of victory.
Canyon Springs appeared to have stopped Cheyenne’s lone overtime possession, but a pass interference call on fourth down extended the drive and placed the ball at the 1-yard line. Desert Shields quarterback Anthony McConnico plunged in on the following play to trim the lead to one. Cheyenne decided to go for the win, lining up for the 2-point conversion, but the Pioneer defense held strong and denied the run attempt to save the victory.
Canyon Springs held Cheyenne to only 93 yards of total offense in the game.
The Meadows 46, Calvary Chapel 0 — At Calvary Chapel, Jack Berkley threw for three touchdowns and ran for a score as the Mustangs (1-1) opened Division III Southern League play with a rout of the Lions (0-2) in a game that was stopped midway through the third quarter by agreement of both coaches.
Berkley completed 7 of 14 passes for 205 yards and ran for 53 yards on 14 carries.
Thayne Carlson’s 2-yard run less than three minutes into the game got the Mustangs on the board.
Berkley completed scoring passes of 55 yards to Ethan Fridman, 16 yards to Adam Martinez and 25 yards to Asheesh Chopra to up the lead to 26-0 midway through the second quarter.
Gabe Adamson, Berkley and Carlson added TD runs to cap the scoring.
Calvary Chapel, which started four freshmen and has just 16 players, was backed up much of the night due to high snaps and sacks.
Hurricane (Utah) 17, Moapa Valley 14 — At Hurricane, Utah, Jaden Stone’s 24-yard field goal with 3:40 left in the fourth quarter broke a 14-all tie and lifted the Tigers (2-1) by the Pirates (1-1).
Moapa Valley took a 14-7 lead after R.J. Hubert returned the second half kickoff 85 yards for a score, but a 10-yard TD run by Hurricane’s Jacob Carr later in the quarter tied the game.
After Carr’s score, Hubert appeared to run the ensuing kickoff back for another touchdown, but a holding penalty negated the play.
Trystin Deal ran for 75 yards on 17 carries for the Pirates.
Bonanza 22, Yucca Valley (Calif.) 7 — At Yucca Valley, Calif., DeShawn Williams ran for two touchdowns to lead the Bengals (1-1) by the Trojans (1-1).
Jacob Perez caught a touchdown pass from Wyatt Allison for Bonanza, which led 16-0 at the half.
Virgin Valley 56, Western 6 — At Mesquite, Cody Jones ran for three touchdowns, and the Bulldogs (1-1) scored 42 second-quarter points in a rout of the Warriors (0-2).
Josh Bishop, Kai Mitchell, Jarrett Tietjen and Marcelo Lara added touchdown runs for Virgin Valley, which also got a fumble return for a touchdown by Arden Bundy for the Bulldogs, who led 56-0 at the half.
Agassi Prep 48, Lake Mead 6 — At Henderson International, Stephan LauShaul scored three touchdowns, including setting the tone quickly with a 60-yard punt return early in the first quarter, as the Stars rolled to a win over the Eagles.
After forcing a fumble on Lake Mead’s first play after the touchdown, Agassi Prep (1-0, 1-0 Division III Southern) went three plays for its next score — an 8-yard run by James Showers.
With two minutes remaining in the opening quarter, Agassi Prep forced another fumble, and two plays later, Brandon Lewis ran it in from 14 yards out to push the lead to 21-0.
Lewis threw for 140 yards and two touchdown passes to LauShaul, who caught a 19-yard scoring pass in the first quarter and a 6-yard TD pass in the third quarter.
Lewis also ran for 54 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown. Zeivaun Ned caught three passes for 93 yards.
Jared Regan scored on a 45-yard option pitch for Lake Mead (0-1, 0-1). He finished with 47 yards on seven carries.
Sandy Valley 48, Indian Springs 6 — At Sandy Valley, Logan Shelton ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Eastham to help the Sidewinders (1-1) rout the Thunderbirds (0-2).
Alexis Fajardo ran for 85 yards and a score, and David Roundy rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown for Sandy Valley.
Fajardo also had 15 tackles, and Derek Larson and Zachary Miller each had nine tackles for Sandy Valley.
Beatty 50, Big Pine (Calif.) 6 — At Beatty, Matthew Reetz ran for three touchdowns as the Hornets (1-0) routed the Warriors (1-0).
Nik Zamora tossed two touchdown passes to Jacob Oseguera for Beatty.