Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun
Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 | 11:57 p.m.
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Basic coach Jeff Cahill may have the most stressful coaching job in Las Vegas.
Five of the Wolves’ last seven games have been decided by a touchdown or less. Friday night’s home playoff game against Desert Pines was no different.
Like it has so many times this season, Basic (10-1) pulled out another close game. Basic held on to beat Desert Pines 24-17 in the first round of the playoffs.
“Our kids don’t panic when something goes wrong,” Cahill said. “If they get up on us, we stay the course and play the whole game out.”
The Wolves’ refusal to panic was on display late in the fourth quarter against the Jaguars. Because of penalties, Desert Pines was able to run seven plays from within Basic’s five-yard line trailing 24-17.
Any Desert Pines touchdown would have likely sent the game to overtime. But Basic’s players remained calm. The Wolves stopped the Jaguars short of the goal line on each of the seven plays.
“They ran the same play over and over. We knew what was coming next,” Basic defensive end Marty Christensen said. “So we just had to fill the holes. We played stout. We played great. We had to man up there and we did.”
Basic got the ball back at its own one-yard line with four minutes to go. The Wolves pieced together a long, time-consuming drive that gave Desert Pines no real chance to threaten at the end of the game.
Quarterback Tyler Dobbins was the architect of the drive. On the night, Dobbins went 11-for-23 for 155 yards and a touchdown.
“Our offense finally pulled it out and did it,” Christensen said.
Basic’s spark, however, came on special teams. Desert Pines scored first when Derrick Shaw capped off a long drive with a 15-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
The Jaguars took a 7-0 lead — for a few moments, at least. Basic junior Dominic Villas returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards to tie up the game.
“I’ll tack that up to the touchdown that got away from us,” Desert Pines coach Paul Bennett said. “That will haunt us.”
Still, Desert Pines had its chances and didn’t seem to be out of the game until the very end. Basic took a commanding 24-10 lead when running back Quinn Richardson powered his way in the end zone for a two-yard touchdown at the end of the third quarter.
Desert Pines scored two plays later after two long runs by Shaw. In total, Shaw rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
“ I’m proud of my kids,” Bennett said. “They played hard, they played well and they didn’t want to give up the season, but it is what it is.”