With a first-year head coach and 16 new starters, Las Vegas High faced plenty of questions ahead of 2011.
Fortunately for the Wildcats, Farrell Victor is not new to the program.
Victor rushed for 180 yards on 14 carries and added three touchdowns, then grabbed a clutch 37-yard reception from quarterback Hasaan Henderson in the final two minutes, to power Las Vegas to a 30-25 home win over Snow Canyon (Utah).
On third-and-12 from its own 29-yard line, Victor asked for the play to go to him. Recently promoted head coach James Thurman called the play, and Victor outleaped a Snow Canyon defender for the ball, ending the Warriors’ bid for a comeback.
“It doesn’t matter the drill in practice, Farrell is a competitor,” said Thurman, whose team includes seven new starters on offense. “(Victor) came over at the timeout and said he wanted the ball. He makes plays for us.”
The senior running back scored twice in six minutes in the third quarter, using touchdown runs of 9 and 27 yards, as the Wildcats cruised to a 30-14 advantage.
But Las Vegas barely saw the ball for seven minutes the rest of the night as Snow Canyon came alive in its bid for a comeback.
“We missed some tackles down the stretch,” Thurman said. “But for a first game, I’m very pleased with the way we played. Yes, I know we have plenty of things to work on beginning Saturday.”
Warriors quarterback Brayden Linde tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Robinson, and a 35-yard field goal by Jorge Benevides cut the margin to five with 4:12 remaining.
But Henderson, Victor and the Wildcat offense made sure Snow Canyon didn’t hold the ball again.
Victor’s catch, his only reception of the night, was perhaps the biggest.
“Its great to see a senior want the ball, that shows leadership,” Thurman said. “We executed pretty well on offense at times, but we made mistakes at others.”
Henderson and Victor combined for 326 of Las Vegas’ 414 yards.
Linde had 208 passing yards for Snow Canyon, while the Warriors produced only 110 yards on the ground.