Las Vegas Sun

July 28, 2016

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high school football:

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


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

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

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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 Follow Paul on Twitter at

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