Centennial blew most of a 28-point halftime lead, but hung on for a 35-22 victory at Cheyenne.
Willie White carried 13 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns, sealing the win with a 3-yard scoring run and helping the Bulldogs clinch the No. 3 seed in the Northwest Division.
Though he expressed concerns over his players’ sloppy second half, Centennial coach Leon Evans said he was just happy to see his squad break a six-year postseason drought.
“We haven’t been to the playoffs in years,” said Evans, whose eighth-ranked team improved to 7-3 overall and 5-3 in the Northwest. “This is quite an accomplishment, especially in this division.”
It looked like it was going to be easy in the first half, as quarterback
Cody Clark helped open the floodgates with a 1-yard keeper late in the first quarter.
White made it 14-0 early in the second on an 8-yard run, and Jacobi Owens extended the lead to 21-0 by breaking a 45-yard run up the middle with 4:22 left in the half.
When Clark connected with Najeem Popal for a 21-yard TD pass just before halftime, it appeared the second half would be little more than a formality.
But the Desert Shields (3-5, 2-5) came out strong to start the third quarter, scoring on a 3-yard run by Tyler Spight to make it 28-8.
“We just stopped playing,” Evans said. “We couldn’t get anything going offensively, and it just snowballed from there.”
The Bulldogs began having defensive troubles as well, as Kenneth Counts scored on 4- and 1-yard runs to cut Cheyenne’s deficit to 28-22 with 6:26 remaining.
“When it got to be a four-point game with those players on the field, they could have scored quickly and we could have lost the game,” Evans said.
Instead, his team mustered a 73-yard drive that was aided by two costly Cheyenne penalties, sealing the win on White’s second TD run with 2:09 left to play.
Owens rushed 14 times for 84 yards to help Centennial.
Counts carried 16 times for 111 yards to lead the Desert Shields, and Spight racked up 77 yards on 19 carries.
Basic 32, Green Valley 31 — At Basic, quarterback Vincent Carducci and the Wolves (5-5, 2-4 Southeast) rode a second-half rally past the Gators (3-7, 1-5) .
Carducci finished the first half with only two completions for 24 yards. After halftime, the senior quarterback completed six passes for 137 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown to receiver Matthew Dembinski.
Carducci, who left the game with about a minute to go after suffering a knee injury, finished with 161 passing yards.
Basic’s Antraye Johnson had an 11-yard touchdown run, and Benito Gutierrez and Carducci each had a 3-yard TD run.
Green Valley’s Jacob Olim threw two touchdown passes, and Rakeem Griffin rushed for 125 yards, including an 80-yard TD.
Valley’s Anthony Sanders ran for touchdowns of 5 and 10 yards and threw an 11-yard TD pass to Rashad Richardson.
The Aggies gained all but 25 yards on the ground, including 288 yards from Roderick Eason, who rushed for 194 yards in the fourth quarter alone.
Eason was also a defensive star. With the Crusaders (4-5, 2-5) marching late in the first half, Eason had the first hit on Faith Lutheran quarterback Joe Portaro to halt the drive at the 1-yard line with no time on the clock.
Defense at the 1 would make a difference in the second half as well. After a 21-21 fourth-quarter tie was broken by a 40-yard Eason TD run, the Aggies forced a Crusaders fumble just outside the goalline after a 79-yard drive.
Arbor View got 252 yards rushing from junior Christian Rodriguez, while Faith was led by its air attack with 396 passing by Portaro. Faith seniors Don Pearson and Brett Lubbe had 164 and 149 yards receiving, respectively.
“They do something that nobody else in the league does,” Arbor View coach Dan Barnson said. “It was a good thing we came off the bye week. They’re going to get their yards. It’s just bend but not break.”
Arbor View clinched a home playoff opener with the win, while the Crusaders were eliminated from postseason contention in their second year in Class 4A.
Las Vegas 46, Eldorado 6 — At Las Vegas High, Hasaan Henderson threw four touchdown passes as the playoff-bound and fourth-ranked Wildcats rolled past the Sundevils.
Henderson completed 7 of 10 passes for 211 yards, 187 of those in the first half as Las Vegas (9-1, 7-0 Northeast) cruised to a 33-0 halftime lead on just 11 plays. He threw TD strikes of 53 and 83 yards to Cameron Rogers, 5 yards to Farrell Victor and 13 yards to Marquan Major.
In those 11 plays, the Wildcats gained 253 first-half yards.
Dee Hall added a 69-yard punt return for another score. Hall, who also intercepted two passes, scored a special teams touchdown for the second time in three weeks.
Quarterback JaQuorrey Williams scored Eldorado’s only points on an 8-yard run with just under two minutes remaining.
Williams led the Sundevils (4-5, 3-4 Northeast) with 125 yards on 24 carries. He also passed for 81 yards.
Victor had 101 yards on seven carries and scored three times (two rushing, one receiving), and Rogers caught three passes for 177 yards.
Fortenberry had 19 carries for 92 yards, including touchdown runs of 4 and 15 yards, for the Diamondbacks (8-2, 7-1).
Barnes threw a 58-yard TD pass to Jordyn Compehos and had a 56-yard touchdown run to help Desert Oasis jump to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
Inas Santiago powered the Diamondbacks’ defense, returning a fumble 24 yards for a touchdown, and also had a sack. Desert Oasis outgained Clark (3-6, 3-4) 222-29 in the first half.
Palo Verde 43, Legacy 14 — At Palo Verde, Austin Whalen rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns to help the Panthers (9-0, 6-0 Northwest) rout the Longhorns (4-5, 3-4).
Palo Verde opened the game with a 10-play, 58-yard drive capped by Whalen’s 1-yard TD run.
Whalen also scampered 76 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter to give the Panthers a 29-7 halftime lead.
Palo Verde overpowered Legacy with its running game as 10 players combined to gain 383 yards. The Panthers’ defense limited the Longhorns to 90 yards rushing and one pass completion (for 15 yards).
Panthers quarterback Chaisson Prescott had a 1-yard TD run and threw a 26-yard scoring pass to Dylan Shanteu.
Legacy’s L.J. McMorris had a 23-yard touchdown run and quarterback Jordan Pinkney had a 1-yard TD run.
With the score 7-3 midway through the second quarter, Foothill’s Cameron Thurman returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown.
Foothill (9-1, 5-1) recovered the ball on the ensuing kickoff and Parker Riggin threw to James Henderson on the next play for a 43-yard touchdown.
Riggin led the Falcons in passing, going 9-for-13 for 206 yards and two touchdowns.
Cody Mucino led Coronado with four receptions for 95 yards.
Foothill ends the season as the second seed out of the Southeast and will host Desert Pines next week.
Bishop Gorman 63, Bonanza 0 — At Bonanza, the Gaels (8-2, 7-0 Southwest) scored touchdowns on seven of their eight first-half possessions to build a 49-0 halftime lead and roll past the Bengals (4-5, 3-4).
Gorman’s Jarrett Solomon passed for 98 yards and three TDs, all in the first half. The sophomore hooked up with Ryan Smith for scores of 3 and 53 yards and Jamir Tillman on a 3-yard TD strike.
Freshman Nate Starks rushed for 102 yards and two TDs on five attempts for Gorman, and Justin Sweet added 95 yards and one TD on eight carries.
Evan Zeger returned a third-quarter interception 37 yards for a score for the Gaels, who have shut out their last four opponents.
Dasean Martin led Bonanza with four catches for 47 yards and 34 yards on 13 carries.
Mason, a senior, had touchdown runs of 53, 10, 11, 63 and 35 yards, and Western’s defense forced three turnovers (one fumble and two interceptions).
David Scheref led Sierra Vista with three receiving touchdowns.
McDearmon ran for touchdowns of 55 and 13 yards and had a 6-yard TD pass to Erick Thompson.
Mojave’s Trevonte Veal passed for 188 yards and a score.
Spring Valley 49, Pahrump Valley 9 — At Pahrump, the Grizzlies (5-4, 4-3 Southwest) gained 406 yards in 39 plays on seven scoring drives and handed the Trojans (0-9, 0-7) their 27th consecutive defeat.
Austyn Wallace rushed for 117 yards and scored on runs of 9, 22, 15 and 5 yards. Quarterback Jordan Cox completed 13 of 24 passes for 250 yards, including TD passes of 15 yards to Nick Santos and 28 yards to Brandon Lopez.
Pahrump scored on a 38-yard field goal by Carlos Sawtelle and a 1-yard run by Josh Harvey.
Jacob Barr threw TD passes of 28, 41 and 33 yards to Toure Williams.
Karlventz Thegenus led the Chaparral ground game with 139 yards on 17 carries. He also returned an interception 84 yards for a score.
Demarlo Lewis had a 40-yard scoring run in the first quarter and later added a 4-yard TD run to give the Spartans a 13-7 lead heading into the half. Lewis finished with 118 yards on 16 carries.
Lagasca’s 83-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter tied the game, and Mike Rivera’s extra point gave the Patriots a 14-13 lead.
Liberty’s Niko Kapeli scored on an 8-yard run in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
Lewis recovered a fumble for the Spartans on the Liberty 47 with 50 seconds to play, but Cimarron was unable to move the ball.
Engel was 4-for-9 passing with two interceptions and ran for a 2-yard score for Mountain View, which scored on its first four drives while shutting out White Pine in the first quarter.
Matt Larson hauled in two catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns, scoring on passes of 45 and 23 yards from Engel. Justyn Anderson added a 33-yard touchdown reception.
“It’s a great feeling,” Engel said of clinching a postseason berth. “I feel like we stepped up and stopped the run well.”
Anderson also had 128 yards on five carries, with scoring runs of 64 and 14 yards in the third quarter.
Freshman Jacob Duldulao gained 91 yards on 16 carries, including a 2-yard TD run, for the Saints, who ran for 435 yards while holding the Bobcats to 61 net rushing yards and 172 total yards.
“The kids came out with a lot of heart in the first quarter,” Mountain View coach Ray LeBoeuf said. “Giving us the lead helped us not have to worry about (defending) the run. I was a lot less worried about defending the pass.”
Quarterback Joshua Ashby racked up 77 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries for White Pine and completed 11 of 22 passes for 111 yards with two interceptions.
The Bobcats’ Jacob Henze scored on a 1-yard plunge.
Moapa Valley 7, Virgin Valley 6 — At Mesquite, Kelan Weiss scored on a 1-yard plunge with four seconds left in the first half and Dylan Mortensen converted the extra point, helping the Pirates (5-4, 2-1) scrape past the Bulldogs (7-2, 1-1) to claim the No. 1 seed in the Class 3A Southern League playoffs.
Virgin Valley’s Dee Bowler had a 2-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs’ 2-point conversion run failed.
Moapa Valley missed two field-goal attempts.
Bowler finished with 56 yards on 10 carries to pace Virgin Valley.
The Meadows 30, Laughlin 8 — At The Meadows, Garrett Gosse accounted for all four of his team’s touchdowns in leading the Mustangs (5-4, 5-2 Class 2A Southern League) past the Cougars (2-7, 0-7).
Gosse completed 6 of 14 passes for 159 yards and three touchdowns and added a 5-yard running score late in the game. He threw touchdown passes of 31 and 48 yards to Austin Brown, who finished with 93 yards on three catches, and 28 yards to Max Newman.
Chase Marrs piled up 56 yards on nine carries and Brandon Thomas had 55 yards on nine carries to fuel The Meadows’ ground game.
Laughlin’s Andre Prosise had 101 yards on 21 carries and 50 yards on 5-of-10 passing. Colton Hill added 86 yards on 19 carries.
Needles 58, Agassi Prep 50 — At Needles, Calif., Daric Courtwright ran for a touchdown in the third overtime to help the Mustangs (6-4, 6-1 Class 2A Southern League) rally from a 30-12 halftime deficit and survive their third triple-overtime game of the year in a win over the Stars (6-2, 6-1).
Andrew Mathews completed a pass to Jozef Guzman for the 2-point conversion to help Needles hold on for the win.
Tank Carter scored three touchdowns for Agassi Prep, Terrell Kemp supplied two scores, and DeVonn Porter added a touchdown.
Pahranagat Valley 62, Tonopah 0 — At Alamo, Cody Hosier completed 8 of 10 passes for 113 yards and three touchdowns to help the Panthers (9-0, 5-0 1A Southern) rout the rival Muckers (5-4, 2-3) for their 31st straight victory.
Hosier hooked up with Kale Leavitt on scoring strikes of 9 and 6 yards and Kade Wadsworth on a 14-yard TD. The senior quarterback also rushed for 58 yards on six attempts.
Chase Hansen scored on a 1-yard run and a 63-yard punt return to help Pahranagat build a 54-0 halftime lead.
Leavitt caught four passes for 69 yards.
Cedric Kirby carried 14 times for 30 yards to lead Tonopah.
Spring Mountain 78, Round Mountain 6 — At Round Mountain, Alistair Houpe scored four touchdowns as the Eagles (6-2, 3-2 Class 1A Southern League) routed the Knights (3-6, 0-5).
Houpe returned a fumble and an interception for scores and added two rushing touchdowns.
Spring Mountain’s Devonte Rash had two receiving touchdowns.
Indian Springs 58, Beatty 20 — At Beatty, the Thunderbirds (6-2, 4-1 Class 1A Southern) routed the Hornets (4-4, 1-4).
Beatty’s Anthony Turner had two touchdown receptions and returned a kickoff for another score.
Boulder City 37, Durango JV 22 — At Boulder City, Tyler Washburn ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles (4-6) beat the Trailblazers’ junior varsity.
Senior Matt Combs rushed for 52 yards and a 20-yard touchdown, and junior Dustin Mantia had a 3-yard TD run for Boulder City.
Boulder City junior quarterback Thomas Shelley threw a touchdown to senior Austyn Hyde and caught a 2-point conversion pass from senior Jack LaMarca.