There was just one thing left to do for Boulder City senior Thorsten Balmer on Friday night: make a big defensive play. He did just that.
Balmer made a game-clinching interception and ran for a game-high 211 yards, helping the Eagles down rival Pahrump Valley 32-28. It was the senior’s second consecutive 200-plus yard rushing performance, eclipsing 500 yards on the season in just three games. He also added a 14-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter.
“We knew we couldn’t throw (the ball) in the fourth and so the coaches thought we could run the clock down running the ball,” Balmer said. “Giving me the ball up the middle is a big threat for the defense and then we can catch teams off guard with some outside throws. We needed some big plays to get the team hyped up.”
Balmer helped lead a fourth quarter rally as the Eagles scored the final 12 points of the game. Junior quarterback Parker Reynolds fought through adversity and a pair of turnovers to finish with a pair of rushing touchdowns to go with his two TDs through the air. Reynolds threw for 159 yards and ran for 27.
Reynolds and Balmer were instrumental in coming up with big plays when the Eagles needed it most. On the two scoring drives in the fourth quarter the pair combined for all 128 yards.
“I think as a quarterback it’s my job to get the team up and get the offense running,” Reynolds said. “I think it was my job to drive us down the field and score. Coming from last year I don’t think this team would’ve been able to come back like this. I think we have a lot more heart and dedication to the game.”
After falling behind for the first time late in the third quarter Boulder City mounted a fourth-quarter comeback, first with an eight-play, 73-yard drive that bridged the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth. On the drive, Balmer bull dozed his way over a Pahrump safety for 23 yards to open the drive, capping it seven plays later with a 3-yard run. Balmer then opened the game-winning drive with a 34-yard scamper by breaking five tackles to get to the outside. Reynolds finished off the seven-play drive with his second rushing touchdown of the night, plunging in from 1 yard out.
“The biggest thing we’ve been teaching our kids is overcoming adversity,” Boulder City coach Chris Morelli said. “We knew they would break open some big plays with the offense they have. I don’t like giving up 28 points but I don’t mind it if our offense keeps doing the same thing to respond.”
Looking to run the clock out, Boulder City managed to leave less than a minute on the clock after Travis Hungerford landed his punt at the Pahrump 5-yard line. One play later, Balmer jumped a slant route and sealed the victory with the interception.
“It felt great finishing the game off,” Balmer added.