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Wildcats take early lead, hold off Skyhawks

Silverado’s football team wasn’t without chances on Friday night against eighth-ranked Las Vegas.

The Skyhawks had back-to-back drives that went 79 and 53 yards, used 34 plays and took 17 minutes off the clock.

But neither ended in points.

So despite a 246-yard night from Silverado’s Alek Aragon on 44 carries, the Wildcats did just enough to earn a 27-9 home victory.

Las Vegas did get out of the gate early, scoring 20 points in the opening quarter. But the Wildcats ran just 16 plays after halftime and managed only four first downs in the second half.

“We knew they (Silverado) would play ball-control football,” Las Vegas coach James Thurman sayd. “They are big and physical, and they did a great job of running the football. However, our defense played great. We did score quickly, we just didn’t have the ball as much as we wanted.”

In that 20-point first quarter, Las Vegas (4-3, 2-1 Northeast) got a pair of touchdowns from Andrew Moreland (41 and 21-yard runs) and a 5-yard pass from Trevor Swenson to Aaron Zanin-Banks.

Late in the second quarter, Silverado marched from its 20 to the Las Vegas two, where the Skyhawks faced a fourth-and-1. However, Aragon was hit by the front line of the Wildcat defense, and the 20-play drive ended.

On the first possession of the second half, the Skyhawks (2-5, 1-2 Northeast) were on the move again, getting into the red zone. But Mitchell Ballard’s pass was intercepted by Zanin-Banks at the Las Vegas 3.

“Stopping those drives was critical,” Thurman said. “They (Silverado) have a very good football team, we just made plays at the right times tonight. After last week, this is a much-better feeling.”

Moreland rushed for 132 yards on 12 carries for Las Vegas, and Swenson completed 12 of 21 passes for 116 yards.

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