Weiss, Pirates make statement with second-straight win over 4A opponent

Moapa Valley quarterback Kelan Weiss didn’t care to make a statement about Class 3A schools competing with 4A programs.

Instead, the Pirates left their statement on the field Friday.

Weiss threw for 258 yards and four touchdowns to lead the two-time defending 3A state champion Pirates to a 45-13 win at Foothill.

“We’re not playing for respect for 3A,” said Weiss, a junior. “We’re playing for respect for Moapa Valley. We’re playing for us. We’re trying to get ourselves out there and show what we can do.”

Moapa Valley (3-3) has won consecutive road games over 4A schools Rancho (1-5) and Foothill (3-3) by a combined score of 84-20.

“I don’t know where Foothill and Rancho fit in the realm of 4A,” Pirates coach Brent Lewis said. “But I think we can compete with most of the 4A schools except for probably the top-tiers.

“I don’t know how much of a statement it is, but I’m glad they’ll at least play us.”

Moapa Valley scored touchdowns on seven of its first eight possessions.

Weiss’ first two pass attempts were scoring strikes — the first a 34-yard blast to Dillon Gordon, followed by a 37-yard pass to Matt Newton.

“It’s receivers making plays,” Weiss said of the two quick TD tosses. “We took them by surprise and never looked back.”

Weiss completed 12 of 16 passes without a turnover.

“His progression has been solid for us,” Lewis said of Weiss. “When he’s confident back there, it helps throughout the field.”

Weiss carried five times for 53 yards to lead Moapa Valley’s rushing attack. Newton caught five passes for 138 yards and two scores.

The Pirates pounded out 451 yards of total offense.

“We’ve been working hard on getting our offense going because we’ve struggled in some games,” Weiss said. “We just wanted to put up some points.”

Kyle Keplinger scored on a 28-yard fumble return in the second quarter and Charles Fisher on a 62-yard interception return in the fourth for Foothill.

The Falcons were held to 73 yards of offense without leading rusher Connor Afoa.

Afoa sat out with an ankle injury but should be ready to return next week at Coronado, Falcons coach Martin Redmond said.