Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008 | 12:32 a.m.
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- Running game helps lift Liberty over Durango
- Cimarron's fast start stings Jags
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- Roundup of other Las Vegas area prep games
Las Vegas High football coach Chris Faircloth had the upper hand on Ray Hosner in a wrestling class when the two attended Southern Utah together.
On the football field, however, Hosner got an edge on Faircloth when his Pine View squad defeated Las Vegas, 41-13, Friday night at Frank Nails Field.
That gave Hosner a 3-2 lead over Faircloth in their series.
“He beat me up in wrestling class,” Hosner said. “He was the expert. He’d lock us up in some moves and hurt us a bit. He would kill me 100-0 if we wrestled 100 times. Leverage. He had great leverage.
“But I always wanted to play him in football. Year in and year out, his team is one of the best in Las Vegas.”
Hosner brought his team from St. George, Utah, and the Panthers improved to 3-1 with the victory over his old friend.
Las Vegas dropped to 2-1 and has yielded 35, 40 and 41 points in its three games this season.
Faircloth managed a little giggle when told of Hosner’s memories on the wrestling mat at Southern Utah.
“Yeah, that was back then,” Faircloth said. “He’s a good guy and has a good program. We didn’t lose to any slouch, by any stretch. Coming into this one, we thought we had a pretty good shot.
“Obviously, our perception is not reality. We have to re-evaluate and go back to the drawing board.”
The biggest pest to the Wildcats was Panthers quaterback Justin Ence, a 5-foot-11 senior who had run for triple figures in yardage in each of his first three games of the season.
Ence ran for 84 yards and completed seven of 12 passes for 98 yards against the Wildcats. Mixed into those numbers were four touchdowns on the ground and one through the air.
“We came in thinking we needed to play all four quarters,” Ence said. “The last couple weeks, we played strong in a couple quarters and then let down. Our line did a great job; they pummel people.”
Ence gave Pine View a 14-7 lead when he capped an 83-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and his 1-yard touchdown plunge with two minutes, 16 seconds to go in the half made it 21-7.
That second run by Ence showed how frustrated Las Vegas had become. A series of penalties inched the Panthers closer to the goal line as the Wildcats imploded.
Defensive back Chamari Fowler barked and pointed at linebacker Chris Hamilton, and an official threatened to boot defensive lineman Trey McElhaney from the game for his actions.
“We just use the theory, kick the dog when it’s down,” Ence said. “We didn’t play down to their level. We knew they’d make mistakes since they were fighting with each other.”
Reggie Bullock, a Las Vegas senior running back who doubles as a cornerback, knew what Ence was talking about.
“We had penalty problems and mental mistakes,” Bullock said. “We need to talk to each other more instead of pointing at each other and putting each other down.”
Pine View took control of the game out of halftime by putting together an eight-play drive that covered 75 yards to open the third quarter.
There was only one third-down call, a 22-yard run by Villiami Hafoka when all the Panthers needed was two for the first down.
Ence capped the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run around his left side.
“He’s so shifty,” Hosner said. “He runs the ball hard. If you come up on him he’ll truck you, play off him and he’ll juke you. I’ve coached his three brothers, too, and they’re all hard-nosed like their mother.”
Bullock was a bright spot for the Wildcats, starting the game’s scoring by returning a punt 57 yards for a touchdown and ending it with a 5-yard touchdown run.
He sticks out as the lone Las Vegas player to wrap his shoes in red tape. With black pants and black jerseys, it’s easy to find Bullock.
“Just a little flavor,” he said.
That sour taste in Bullock’s mouth, though, was from what occurred between his two touchdowns Friday night.