Las Vegas Sun

August 23, 2016

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high school football:

Faith Lutheran outlast Desert Pines to reach Division I-A state semifinals

Image

Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Faith Lutheran football players, from left, Danny Otuwa, Hayden Solis, Keenan Smith and Vinny DeGeorge on July 30, 2013.

Prep Sports Now

Sunrising

Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer celebrate the start of the Sunrise Region playoffs with an all-encompassing look at the first round of games. Don't worry; they save time for discussion on Palo Verde vs. Arbor View and the Division 1-A quarterfinals

The Faith Lutheran and Desert Pines football teams didn’t let either of its fan bases down Friday, engaging in a thrilling shootout that could have gone either way.

In the end, Fabian LaGudi’s 2-yard touchdown run in the closing minutes gave Faith Lutheran the lead for good in a 48-41 victory over Desert Pines in the Division I-A Southern Region semifinals, giving the Crusaders their 10th straight victory.

“It was a crazy game,” said Faith Lutheran coach Vernon Fox, voice hoarse from yelling in a combination of coaching and celebrating. “It was just one of those games (where the team) that scored last was going to come out on top. … We found a way to win. I couldn’t be more proud. Winning is a habit. They’ve adapted and got it.”

Faith Lutheran will host Lowry of Northern Nevada Nov. 16 in the Division I-A state semifinals. The Crusaders will be looking to win their 11th consecutive game, and Fox doesn’t expect his team to get away from “one game at a time” mentality.

“They’ve done a phenomenal job at maintaining the short-term focus,” Fox said.

Lagudi led the way, rushing for 198 yards on 23 carries with four touchdowns., Keenan Smith rushed 15 times for 84 yards with a touchdown.

The Crusaders (10-2) were also balanced, getting another solid effort from quarterback Jake Deaville. Deaville completed 50 percent of his passes (11-for-22) for 227 yards with two touchdowns.

With only four teams remaining in the Division I-A playoffs, and Fox said his team understands that they must continue to play a high level if they’re going to make a run for a state championship.

Paul Delos Santos can be reached at 990-2416 or mail to paul.santos@lasvegassun.com. Follow Paul on Twitter at twitter.com/pauliedelos.

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