Despite losing eight all-league players from a team that rolled to an unbeaten regular season and a Sunset title-game berth, Palo Verde came out firing in its season opener Friday at Canyon Springs.
The Panthers looked very much like their 2010 model. They were steady, consistent and dominant in rolling past the Pioneers, 33-0.
Palo Verde outgained Canyon Springs 429-145. The Panthers set the tone — for the game and season — with a 10-play, 70-yard drive capped by Lee Griggs’ 14-yard touchdown run.
“That felt great, because that just showed how hard we worked all summer. It all showed up on that drive,” senior running back Jonathan Maxwell said.
Maxwell, who rushed for two second-half touchdowns, said the team didn’t play up to snuff while building a 14-0 halftime lead. The Panthers had two drives stall inside the Canyon Springs 20-yard line.
“We felt like we didn’t play as well as we could have in the first half,” Maxwell said. “In the second half, we knew they were going to come out hard, so we had to meet their level of play and that’s what we did.”
Canyon Springs took the second-half kickoff and drove to the Palo Verde 23 before a sack by senior Jerrol Garcia-Williams helped stall the drive.
On the ensuing possession, Andrew Simister’s 50-yard sprint helped set up Williams first TD, a 6-yard sweep to the right side that made it 20-0.
Maxwell capped the Panthers’ next drive with a 31-yard run that made it 26-0 with nine minutes to play.
Maxwell, who gained 84 yards on eight carries, said part of what makes the Palo Verde running game so proficient is the battle for starting spots that occurs every day in practice.
“It’s a whole bunch of competition. We are trying to get a starting spot and everyone is fighting for it,” said Maxwell. “We’ll see next week who is starting. I feel confident.”
Simister had 103 yards on eight carries and Griggs gained 85 on 10 carries.
Defensively, the Panthers kept Canyon Springs out of sync. The Pioneers rotated three quarterbacks and managed only 48 yards in the first half. Donnel Pumphrey led the Pioneers with 56 yards on 18 carries.
“I just have so much confidence in our defense I never think the (other team’s) offense is going to score,” said Garcia-Williams, who had two sacks and a forced fumble for Palo Verde. “I knew our defense was good.”
Bonanza 30, Silverado 29 — At Bonanza, Brett Doyle connected with Jayveon Taylor for a 66-yard touchdown with 52 seconds to play, and Austin Rowe kicked the conversion as the Bengals rallied in the fourth quarter to edge Silverado.
Taylor scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 1-yard run to tie the game at 14 with 46 seconds left in the first half. The Bengals quickly forced an interception and two plays later Taylor scored again on a 50-yard hook-and-ladder from Jordan Ozosky.
Silverado’s Izaiah Thurmon scored his second TD on a 2-yard run, and Savon Moniz’s 2-point conversion gave the Skyhawks a 29-20 lead with 5:58 to play. Rowe answered for Bonanza with a 32-yard field goal.
After forcing a punt on the ensuing Skyhawks possession, Doyle threw a perfect pass to a streaking Taylor, who scored to tie the game at 29.
Doyle finished 17 of 25 for 307 yards and two TDs and Rico Soto had 108 yards rushing on 12 carries.
For Silverado, Thurmon gained 123 yards on 22 carries and Deandre Gause added 119 yards on seven carries.
— Adam Berchin
Del Sol 40, Rancho 22 — At Rancho, the Dragons broke open a close game by scoring on four consecutive second-half possessions to beat the Rams.
Chris Marshall, who ran for a game-high 179 yards, scored on runs of 65 and 15 in the third quarter to give Del Sol a 31-16 lead.
Will Gosse-Gardett, who passed for 172 yards and two scores, pulled Rancho to within 31-22 on a 4-yard pass to Alvaro Vasquez early in the fourth. It was Vasquez’s second TD grab.
But Del Sol’s Nathan Kirschbaum, who threw for 197 yards and three scores, hit Lael Perkins for a 20-yard scoring pass to put the Dragons back in control.
Del Sol’s Dylan Lindeman, who kicked a school-record 52-yard field goal late in the second quarter, closed the scoring with a 27-yard field goal with 3:27 to play.
Cody Hafen led Rancho with 132 yards rushing. Del Sol’s Raheem Jones caught three passes for 111 yards.
— Alan Abair
Las Vegas 30, Snow Canyon (Utah) 25 — At Las Vegas High, Farrell Victor rushed for 180 yards, including touchdowns of 65, 9 and 27, as the Wildcats won their opener under first-year coach James Thurman.
Victor led a Las Vegas ground game that compiled 262 yards, but it was his 37-yard reception from Hasaan Henderson on third-and-12 with just under two minutes remaining that iced the game.
Henderson gained 94 yards on 13 carries, including a 76-yard score on Las Vegas’ opening possession.
Victor scored back-to-back touchdowns in the second half to put the Wildcats ahead 30-14, enough to survive Snow Canyon scoring the final 11 points. The Warriors ran 41 plays in the second half to Las Vegas’ 19.
Jay Mattox’s 46-yard field goal gave Las Vegas a 17-14 lead after a back-and-forth first half.
Brandon McFarland answered Henderson’s opening score with a 2-yard run early in the second quarter, but Victor broke the tie by answering with his 65-yard run.
Snow Canyon quarterback Brayden Linde threw the first of his two touchdown passes, 31 yards to Connor Livingston, to tie the game at 14-all.
Linde completed 18 of 30 passes for 208 yards, with Livingston grabbing seven for 110 yards.
Henderson threw for 152 yards on 12 attempts.
— Sam Leeper
Cimarron-Memorial 21, Basic 14 — At Basic, Demaryae Williams rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the third quarter, to lead the Spartans over the Wolves.
Williams scored on a 2-yard run to cap an 11-play, 70-yard drive in the third. He opened the scoring with a 49-yard touchdown run in the first two minutes.
Taz Taoipu ran for an 89-yard touchdown in the second quarter and finished with 120 yards for the Spartans, who had a 297-30 yardage edge on the ground.
Basic carried a 14-13 lead into halftime after an 89-yard kickoff return touchdown by Antraye Johnson. Ronald Petrasky scored the Wolves’ first touchdown on a 40-yard fumble return.
— Jason Watkins
Fountain Valley (Calif.) 52, Green Valley 49 — At Green Valley, the Gators scored four touchdowns in the final 12:06 and recovered an unusual fumble, but fell short.
On its first drive of the fourth quarter, Fountain Valley attempted a 58-yard field goal and missed, igniting the Green Valley rally. Barry Cruvant scored on a 47-yard pass from Jacob Olin and the Gators recovered the subsequent onside kick. Green Valley converted two fourth-down plays before a 4-yard run by Cruvant made it 52-49.
Fountain Valley got the first down it needed to take advantage of Green Valley’s lack of timeouts, but fumbled while attempting to take a knee. Green Valley’s attempt to score ended with a fumble.
Fountain Valley dominated the early going, recovering a fumble on Green Valley’s first play and scoring inside the first two minutes, then forcing a Gators punt and marching 90 yards in 19 plays to make it 14-0.
Green Valley got going in the second quarter with touchdown runs by Aaron Love and Elijah Spann, but a 47-yard field by Derek Huynen late in the third padded Fountain Valley’s lead, and ultimately accounted for the margin of victory.
— Neil Grepke
Pine View (Utah) 46, Desert Pines 16 — At Desert Pines, Braxton Peterson rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns, and also passed for 139 yards and a score to carry the visiting Panthers (2-0) over the Jaguars (0-1).
Peterson scored on a 7-yard keeper to the right side midway through the third quarter, capping a five-play, 85-yard drive and extending Pine View’s lead to 20-9.
Desert Pines’ Leon Hayes answered with a 95-yard sprint on the ensuing kickoff return, but Peterson threw a 23-yard TD pass to Tyker Olds to finish a 10-play, 80-yard drive to give Pine View a 27-16 lead after the third quarter.
Pine View’s defense held the Jaguars scoreless in the fourth, and its offense added touchdowns on a 12-yard run by Prentiss Miller, a 19-yard run by Peterson, and a 33-yard reception by Jake Arslanian from Kody Wilstead.
Miller accumulated 202 yards on 18 carries, and Arslanian finished with 153 yards receiving and two TDs, both from Wilstead.
Gustavo Galvan connected on a 37-yard field goal for Desert Pines.
— Brennan Karle
Boulder City 50, The Meadows 12 — At The Meadows, 10 Eagles ball carriers combined to rush for 500 yards and six touchdowns on 45 attempts as Class 3A Boulder City routed the 2A Mustangs.
Boulder City rushed for 301 yards in the first half on its way to a 30-6 lead. Corbett Fleming led the Eagles’ rushing attack with 127 yards on nine carries, including touchdowns of 39 and 36 yards.
Xavier Steel carried eight times for 104 yards and a touchdown, Tyler Washburn 14 times for 95 yards and Billy Viera twice for 91 yards and a TD.
Boulder City junior defensive end Billy Barth recovered two fumbles, including a 1-yard return for a score in the fourth quarter.
The Meadows quarterback Garrett Gosse completed 11 of 32 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. He hooked up with Max Newman for an 87-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
— Tristan Aird
Indian Springs 12, Virginia City 6 — At Indian Springs, Devin Jackson’s tiebreaking 38-yard touchdown run with 2:37 remaining lifted the Thunderbirds over the Muckers.
Virginia City broke a scoreless tie in the fourth quarter, cashing in on a 6-yard TD run to take a 6-0 lead. Dominic Smith answered with a 5-yard run for Indian Springs.
Jackson finished with 133 yards on 19 carries as the Thunderbirds racked up 307 total yards, 233 on the ground.
Desert Hills (Utah) 24, Moapa Valley 0 — At St. George, Utah, Mike Needham rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and caught two passes for 42 yards and another score as the Thunder (1-1) shut out the Pirates (1-1).
Moapa Valley’s Dakota Watters passed for 94 yards. Shane Terril made five receptions for 56 yards for the Pirates, and Conner Mortensen rushed for 48 yards on 12 carries.
Tonopah 89, Eureka 0 — At Tonopah, the Muckers set a school single-game scoring record in a rout of the Vandals.
Tonopah quarterback Seth Littlefield completed 3 of 5 passes for 54 yards and two touchdowns and carried 10 times for 112 yards and three TDs.
Jason Carmen added 108 yards and one TD on 13 carries for the Muckers, who led 65-0 at halftime.
Tonopah had two safeties, scored a TD on a fumble recovery in the end zone by Emitt Davis and scored a TD on Spencer Littlefield’s 40-yard punt return.
The Muckers also held Eureka to 2 yards of offense.