Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 | 2:02 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer celebrate the return of football season with an hour-long podcast diving into anything and everything regarding local high schools. They also look back on the victories by Bishop Gorman and Moapa Valley in the Sollenberger Classic and finish with week one picks.
But the Wolves closed by losing four of their final six games to finish with a 5-5 record and miss the playoffs.
Moving ahead to this season, coach Jeff Cahill has been preaching to his players to play a full four quarters. Last year, second-half collapses were all too common.
“When we looked back at last year, we ended up 5-5 but it could have easily been 8-2,” Cahill said. “We didn’t finish last year in the fourth quarter. That is one of our focuses this year — to finish what we start.”
Basic always has one of the highest-scoring offenses in the Las Vegas Valley, with its spread option attack often tough for opponents to slow down. Senior quarterback Eddie Vega (5-foot-9, 155 pounds) and receivers Darien Spencer (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) and DeVonte Boyd (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) should combine to post some of the best statistics in town.
Vega will be a first-year starter but passed for more than 200 yards in one half of relief duty last year against Legacy. Spencer, who is part of the Sun’s preseason team, had 50 receptions for 676 yards and five touchdowns, while Boyd had 40 catches for 430 yards as sophomore and is a legitimate Division I prospect.
At running back, senior Lorenzo Sampson (5-foot-5, 180 pounds) will get a bulk of the carries, returning after suffering a season-ending injury last year in the first quarter of the first game.
“We have some high hopes for him. We think he could have a breakout year,” Cahill said of Sampson.
Defensively, Basic will break in several inexperienced players. The defense will be led by senior linebackers Perry Williams (6-foot-2, 240 pounds) and Adrian Fleetwood (6-foot-2, 210 pounds), and junior safety Anthony Owens (5-foot-11, 165 pounds).
“We’ll be right there, if we can stay away from the injuries,” Cahill said. “I really think we can contend.