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Steel, Eagles run into region semifinal

Xavier Steel ran for 247 yards and a pair of touchdowns Thursday to lead Boulder City to a 57-33 win over visiting Faith Lutheran in a Division I-A Southern Region quarterfinal.

D.J. Koopman added 120 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles (9-1) racked up 522 yards on the ground and earned a trip to Cheyenne for a region semifinal game next week.

Steel’s 60-yard touchdown run at the 7:15 mark of the first quarter opened the scoring and put the Eagles ahead to stay.

Koopman’s 6-yard scoring run early in the second quarter helped stretch the lead to 16-0.

The Crusaders tried to stay in the game through the air. Sophomore quarterback Greg Benson completed 29 of 59 passes for 410 yards and four touchdowns.

“We expected them to come out throwing as much as they did,” Boulder City coach Alex Kazel said. “But we did what we had to do. We jumped out in front early and we earned our way to another game. The offensive line really executed their blocking scheme all night long.”

Benson’s 11-yard scoring pass to Anthony Pryatel-Farmer trimmed the lead to 16-6 with 7:57 left in the first half.

Billy Viera’s 45-yard TD run two minutes later reestablished the 16-point lead, and the Eagles turned consecutive onside kickoff recoveries into a 30-yard TD dash by Koopman and a 1-yard TD run by Koopman to up the lead to 36-6.

Viera added 87 yards on seven carries.

Benson found Sean Bischel on a 1-yard touchdown pass just before halftime to pull the Crusaders (5-5) within 36-13 at the half, but Faith Lutheran never got closer.

J.D. Owens, Sam Woodbury and Trenton Carmel had second-half TD runs for the Eagles.

Benson tossed touchdown passes of 27 and 5 yards to Mark Rubalcaba in the second half for the Crusaders, who also got a 6-yard TD run from Jacob Deaville.

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