Las Vegas Sun

July 22, 2014

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high school football:

Spring Valley snaps losing streak with win against Durango

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Spring Valley High football players (from left) Tyler Stevens, Marquist Bell and Matthew Cataldi before the 2013 season.

Prep Sports Now

Getting under center

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer preview the two biggest games of the week, Desert Pines at Moapa Valley and Green Valley at Canyon Springs. Keefer also takes amusement at Brewer's yearning for the old days before spread offenses overtook the football landscape.

Spring Valley coach Marcus Teal was unhappy with his team’s performances in the second half over the last two weeks.

He felt the Grizzlies showed little fight in shutout losses to Palo Verde and Arbor View, and couldn’t let it happen again Thursday night against Durango. Teal arrived in the locker room with a message.

“We’ve got to find a way,” Teal told his team. “We can’t quit this time. We can’t do that anymore.”

Sure enough, Spring Valley didn’t quit. The Grizzlies did the opposite.

Spring Valley defeated Durango 24-15, overcoming a 15-7 halftime deficit in the process.

As Teal asked, his players found a way — even if it wasn’t a traditional one. Spring Valley cut into the lead in the third quarter when senior defensive lineman Dylan Clifton recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown.

It later took the lead off another turnover when senior linebacker Sky Thompson gave the offense a short field with a long interception return. Michael Bianco, Spring Valley’s workhorse running back all night, punched in the score.

The Grizzlies’ lone first-half points came when Logan Cruz had a long interception return for a touchdown. Durango scored on the opening play of the game when Leontre Austin broke free for an 80-yard run.

“This was something we needed after taking two butt-whoopings from the top dogs in our division,” Teal said. “Our kids know a lot of the kids over there and were very excited.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer

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