Eventually, Moapa Valley’s steady pounding of carry after carry proved to be Del Sol’s undoing.
Trystin Lehman ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries as Moapa Valley used a strong second half to beat host Del Sol 34-26 on Friday.
In all, the Pirates (6-2, 2-1 3A Sunrise League) ran for 298 yards on the ground. Hayden Redd had 85 yards on 22 carries and fullback Logan Jackson added 11 carries for 78 yards and a score.
Del Sol took a 20-14 lead into halftime, but struggled coming out in third quarter, allowing the Pirates to take control of the game with its ground game.
The Pirates scored twice on the ground in the third quarter to reclaim the lead, and the Pirates went up 14 points on a 30-yard pass from Luke Bennett to Hayden Redd on fourth down.
Del Sol still made a last effort as Taariq Flowers busted loose for 53-yard touchdown run with 6:45 left in the game, making it 34-26. But Moapa Valley ate up enough to clock to not give the Dragons time to score again, and sealed it with an interception from Derek Reese.
“Other than the big plays, we felt that we did a pretty good job against them,” Pirates coach Brent Lewis said. “We definitely turned things up in the second half. Didn’t give them time to throw.”
The big plays put the Pirates in somewhat of a hole early. In the first quarter, Dragons quarterback Andre Navares hit Markell Turner on a quick slant route. The senior shed a tackler, cut back on the Pirates safety, and then raced the rest of the way to the end zone for a 58-yard touchdown.
On the Dragons’ next possession, Flowers went off the right tackle and raced down the right sideline for a 76-yard touchdown and a 12-7 Del Sol lead. Flowers finished with 163 yards on 15 carries.
“We aren’t a fast team like they are,” Lewis said. “When we get out of position, we give up these type of plays.”