Friday, Sept. 4, 2009 | 3:09 p.m.
Brandon Wright and Chapell Thomas each had a pair of touchdown runs and Palo Verde led 38-0 at halftime in a 52-0 victory against host Mojave in the Northwest Division opener for both schools.
Tyrone Blake paced Palo Verde (2-0) with 139 yards rushing on 10 carries, including a 54-yard touchdown run on the first play of the third quarter.
Wright, who had four carries for 82 yards, also had a 54-yard touchdown run. Thomas scored on a 40-yard run and had three carries for 47 yards.
“We had to get better this week. We couldn’t afford to take a step back,” Palo Verde coach Darwin Rost said.
Palo Verde, which improved to 36-6 since 2006, has never lost to Mojave (0-1). Both schools opened in 1996 and they annually play for the shirt — a football jersey that is half Palo Verde, half Mojave.
“More important (than the shirt) was that this was our league opener and you can’t afford to drop a game in our league,” Rost said.
The foursome of Blake, Wright, Thomas and Ernest Hall proved too much for Mojave to handle. It’s a trend Rost said he feels has the potential to happen the rest of the season.
“All four of those backs are so different,” Rost said. “Brandon Wright is so quick on his feet, Chapell is a slasher, Tyrone is the all-purpose back and Ernest provides the power.”
Mojave High School is Rattler Nation, but really it’s home to underdogs.
Minutes from the Nellis Air Force Base the school is nestled near Commerce Street and West Ann Road, an area littered with foreclosed homes.
The school is attended by many students who are underprivileged or at-risk. After Mojave failed to meet No Child Left Behind standards it became one of five Clark County Schools determined to do a 180.
In order to make the turnaround a reality, Mojave has implemented new faculty, extended the school day by 20 minutes and is geared towards boosting school spirit.
“The problem we have right now is that our children aren’t proud of their own school,” Mojave principal Antonio Rael explained an August interview. “When our children begin to take pride in our school, our community will follow.”
- Year built:
- Rattle Snake
- Principal (Year Hired):
- Antonio Rael (2001)
- School motto:
- “Promoting Achievement, Creating Success”
- Mission Statement:
- “The Mission of the Mojave High School Community is to provide a safe learning environment that will empower students to develop excellence, pride, respect, and skills necessary for future success.”
- Approximately 2,000
- School Report Card:
Compiled by Gregan Wingert