Marckell Grayson led Desert Pines’ football team on a late drive to win its season opener. But his heroics came at a steep price.
Grayson, a senior quarterback who has committed to UNLV, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during last week’s 44-41 victory over Centennial and will miss the remainder of the season, according to Jaguars coach Tico Rodriguez.
“I’m just completely heartbroken for him,” Rodriguez said Tuesday. “I’ve seen firsthand how hard he’s worked this offseason with film and weight room. He’s really committed his senior year, and then this unfortunate injury.”
Grayson was injured late in the fourth quarter when he was tackled by two Centennial defenders and landed awkwardly inside the 10-yard line. He was replaced by senior wide receiver Randal Grimes for one play before Turner Klingenmeier booted the go-ahead 25-yard field goal with 1:30 remaining.
Grayson, who had 216 yards passing and 40 yards rushing, also converted on a sneak on fourth-and-1 to keep the winning drive alive.
“He made plays to get us there, and he tried to make another play,” Rodriguez said. “It didn’t look like much, but I think the pressure of him planting … he was in serious pain right after that.”
Grayson was a first-team Division I-A all-state pick as a junior when he completed 113 of 208 passes for 1,798 yards and 21 touchdowns and also ran for 309 yards and eight TDs.
He will be replaced by Grimes, who has committed to Southern California. Grimes played quarterback for parts of two seasons at Sierra Vista and threw five passes for the Jaguars last year.
It is the second straight season the Jaguars, the preseason favorite for the Class 3A state title, have had to overcome ACL injuries to key seniors. Last year, defensive end Anthony Smith and offensive lineman Sam Poutasi suffered knee injuries.
“They’re saddened by Marckell’s injury, but the guys still want to go out and perform. They still have high expectations,” Rodriguez said. “Marckell is such a great person and a great kid. He’s got a positive attitude. He’s here laughing with his guys and he’s like, ‘Coach, whatever you need, I’m there for you. You can use my brain.’
“He’s just a great human being, and (UNLV) coach (Tony) Sanchez called him and told him they’re still family, they’re still committed to him. That was big. It took a lot of pressure off him to have UNLV still believing in him.”
LINDSEY STILL OUT
Bishop Gorman senior wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey is not expected to play Friday when the top-ranked Gaels host Cocoa (Florida).
Lindsey, who transferred back to the school this month from Corona (California) Centennial, was not listed on Gorman’s official football roster submitted to the Review-Journal last week. Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association assistant director Donnie Nelson wrote in an email Tuesday that no paperwork on Lindsey has been filed with his office.
During Saturday’s broadcast of Gorman’s 44-14 win at Cedar Hill (Texas), it was reported Lindsey has an injured collarbone and is expected to be out at least four weeks.
Gorman officials declined to comment on the Ohio State commit’s status with the team.
“He’s a student here at Bishop Gorman,” Gaels coach Kenny Sanchez said. “That’s all I got for you. I’ll give you more when I’ve got more, but that’s all I got.”
TRENT LEAVES FINDLAY
Gary Trent Jr., a senior shooting guard expected to be one of the top players for Findlay Prep’s boys basketball team this season, announced Sunday he was leaving the program before playing a game for the Pilots.
Trent made the announcement on Twitter, citing the coaching change at Findlay Prep for his departure. The Minnesota native transferred to Prolific Prep in Napa, California.
Pilots coach Andy Johnson, who recruited Trent to Findlay Prep, left the program this month to become an assistant at Southern Utah. Johnson was replaced by Paul Washington Sr., the father of Findlay Prep players P.J. and Spencer Washington.
NIEMANN REACHES MILESTONE
Arbor View girls soccer goalkeeper Haylee Niemann set the state record for career shutouts Tuesday in the Aggies’ 9-0 win over Desert Oasis.
Niemann, a junior, now has 31 career shutouts, breaking a tie with Caitlin Anderson of Galena (2002 to 2005) and Douglas’ Ashley Salprizio (1998 to 2000), according to the NIAA record book.
■ Baseball: Bishop Gorman senior Jarrod Billig to Seattle University, and Cimarron-Memorial juniors Jacob and Jaret Godman to UNLV.
■ Women’s soccer: Legacy senior Claire Singleton to McPherson College (Kansas).
Contact reporter David Schoen at email@example.com or 702-387-5203. Follow on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ