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SMALL SCHOOLS: Russell rushes, catches and intercepts to lead Needles

Darra Russell couldn’t quite pinpoint his specialty on the football field.

On Friday night, he had a lot to choose from.

Playing running back, receiver, cornerback, return man and even kickoff specialist, Russell helped Needles (Calif.) spoil Calvary Chapel’s homecoming with a 40-8 rout in a Class 2A Southern League game at Faith Lutheran.

“I think I can do it all,” Russell said. “Whatever the coach needs me to do. I wouldn’t get the yards I’m getting without my teammates.”

Russell, a senior, carried six times for 97 yards and two touchdowns, and caught six passes for 132 yards and another score. He also intercepted a pass on defense.

“He’s just a special player,” Needles coach Steve Price said. “You’re not going to find many Darra Russells on any team. I have to take advantage of it and get him in there where we can. He makes plays when we need him to.”

Needles (5-1, 4-0), the defending 2A state champion in Nevada, rolled up 374 yards of offense, including 205 rushing.

In addition to Russell, the Mustangs also got production on the ground from Derek Tye (76 yards, two TDs) and Stevie Kidd (44 yards).

Needles quarterback Andrew Mathews completed 8 of 12 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns.

The Mustangs scored twice in each of the first three quarters, and cruised to a 40-0 lead with 4:02 left in the third.

Calvary Chapel (3-3, 2-2) was held to 153 yards of offense.

The Lions’ lone score came when Cody Taylor hit Juliene Mejia with a 25-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter.

Taylor, a sophomore, carried 18 times for 128 yards. He was 4-of-14 passing for 31 yards and one touchdown with one interception.

“Cody had a really good game,” Calvary Chapel coach Cliff Frazier said. “He’s starting to get a handle on our offense. We’ve still got to work on his throwing motion, but he’s improved a lot.”

The Lions struggled defensively without star safety Dario Rahming, whom Frazier said suffered a season-ending broken right wrist Oct. 3 during a 12-7 win over West Wendover.

Rahming had intercepted five passes in the Lions’ first five games.

“Our defense has really kept us in a lot of games,” Frazier said. “They just made some mistakes early.”

Moapa Valley 42, Faith Lutheran 14  — At Overton, Brad Weiss rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Pirates (4-2, 2-0 3A Southern League) over the Crusaders (4-3, 0-2).

Because of the windy conditions, the Pirates chose to play mainly on the ground. That plan paid off as Moapa Valley rushed for 370 yards and had 407 total yards of offense.

“On offense, our running game has been great these past couple weeks, and our offensive line is playing about as good as they can play,” Moapa Valley coach Brent Lewis said.

Towards the end of the first half, Moapa Valley’s Max Jenkins threw an interception that led to a Faith Lutheran TD, cutting the Moapa Valley lead to 21-7 at halftime.

Pirates safety Shaun Hilton intercepted a Joe Portaro pass on the third play of the second half returning it for a touchdown to put Moapa Valley up 28-7.

Moapa Valley intercepted three Portaro passes and recovered three Faith Lutheran fumbles.

The Pirates held the Crusaders to minus-3 rushing yards.

“We preached defense in practice all week,” Lewis said. “Our pass rush was great tonight and we were all over the QB.”

— Jon Oglesby

Mountain View 44, West Wendover 14 — At West Wendover, Raymond Velarde completed 12 of 15 passes for 223 yards and four touchdowns to lead Mountain View (2-5, 2-2 2A Southern League) back from a 14-6 deficit.

Velarde threw touchdown passes of 71 and 45 yards to Cortland LeBoeuf, and connected with Tanner Peterson on scoring strikes of 2 and 29 yards. Velarde also intercepted a pair of West Wendover (0-6, 0-4) passes.

LeBoeuf returned the opening kickoff 81 yards to give the Saints a 6-0 lead, but West Wendover scored the next 14 points.

Alex Watson rushed 22 times for 156 yards and a score for Mountain View.

Lincoln County 38, The Meadows 21 — At Panaca, Trent Tibbits ran for 180 yards and three touchdowns and returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a score as the host Lynx (4-3, 3-1 2A Southern League) led from start to finish.

Logan Reifsnyder caught a 15-yard scoring pass from Eric Rippetoe for Lincoln County’s other score.

The Lynx rushed 40 times for 261 yards. Tibbits had 24 carries and scored on runs of 2, 46 and 10 yards.

Pat Kenny had touchdown runs of 3 and 4 yards for The Meadows (5-2, 3-1), which cut a 24-7 halftime deficit to 24-21 in the third quarter.

Gerard Martinez tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Remington Ross for the Mustangs.

Round Mountain 54, Spring Mountain 0 — At Round Mountain, Clint Wilson rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Knights (4-2, 3-1) to the win.

Wilson broke his brother Aaron’s 2003 school record of 197 yards rushing in a game.

Joaquin Ramirez ran for 118 yards and one TD and Cody Burgraff added 57 yards and three scores on the ground for the Knights.

Brandon Musselman picked off three passes for Round Mountain, which forced nine turnovers overall.

Tonopah 55, Laughlin 12 — At Tonopah, Scott Thibodeaux rushed for three touchdowns and the Muckers (4-2) racked up 337 yards on the ground to defeat the Cougars (4-2) for their fourth consecutive win.

Thibodeaux rushed for 164 yards on 12 carries, and scored on runs of 1, 6, and 55 yards. Mike Dolfin added 81 rushing yards and two TDs. Denver Otteson rushed for 64 yards and one touchdown and also kicked a 34-yard field goal.

Dolfin led the defense with 15 tackles; Otteson had 10 tackles, a sack and two fumble recoveries.

Laughlin’s Richard Camargo had a 10-yard TD run, and Allen Layno had a caught a 19-yard TD pass from Corey Cook.

Boulder City 23, La Jolla Country Day (Calif.) 13 — At La Jolla, Calif., Spencer Sasarita and Chris Leach each ran for a touchdown in the first half to help the Eagles (4-2) down the Torreys (3-2).

Jeremy Smith caught an 11-yard scoring pass from Ryan Washburn in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

Jake Phillips also kicked a 20-yard field goal for Boulder City.

Washburn and Phillips combined to complete 13 of 20 passes for 163 yards. Joey Western had eight catches for 83 yards for Boulder City.

White Pine 23, Agassi Prep 16 — At Ely, Tyler Watts rushed for 191 yards and two scores to lead the Bobcats (1-5, 1-3 2A Southern League) over the Stars.

Agassi Prep scored 16 fourth-quarter points, but couldn’t complete the comeback after trailing 16-0 at halftime.

Rusty Lewis added 109 rushing yards for White Pine, and teammate jake Henzie had 12 tackles and returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown.

Agassi Prep (1-4, 1-3) had only 16 active players.

Pahranagat Valley 71, Sandy Valley 6 — At Alamo, the Panthers (6-0, 3-0) coasted after leading 58-6 at halftime.

Pahranagat Valley’s Taylor Poulsen threw for 134 yards and three touchdowns.

Virgin Valley 43, Tri-City (Calif.) 21 — At Vista, Calif., the Bulldogs (6-1) rolled after leading 36-7 at halftime.

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