Las Vegas Sun

June 17, 2019

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Wildcats dominate rivalry game in showdown of offenses

Las Vegas keeps the bone

Kyle B. Hansen

Rancho’s Dijon Holman (6) and Las Vegas’ Nico Villarama (27) try to catch a pass from Rancho’s quarterback James Cammack (not pictured). The pass was incomplete.

Las Vegas keeps the bone

Rancho's Dijon Holman (6) catches the ball before meeting Las Vegas defenders during Friday's Bone Game. Launch slideshow »

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Someone forgot to tell the defenses of Las Vegas High and Rancho to show up to the 52nd annual “bone game” Friday night as the oldest rivalry in Nevada turned into a video game-like offensive shootout.

Las Vegas and Rancho combined for 105 points and 958 yards of total offense in pursuit of the hallowed Sir Herkimer’s bone in Rancho’s first home bone game in four years.

Yet even home field advantage couldn't change the recent history of this storied rivalry as the Wildcats took the bone home for the 13th consecutive year with a 63-42 drubbing of the Rams.

Not only did the Wildcats maintain possession of the bone, but Las Vegas (7-1, 4-0) is now in sole possession of first place in the Northeast Division.

“This is huge,” said Las Vegas quarterback Emir Lopez after his first ever bone game. “This gives us momentum going into the playoffs and most likely home field advantage. We just need to keep this going.”

Lopez helped the Wildcats tally the most points ever scored by a single team in the history of the bone game by playing nearly flawless football. The senior transfer from Sierra Vista never turned the ball over as he completed 65 percent of his passes, throwing 13-for-20 with 227 yards and three touchdowns.

He ignited the Wildcats’ potent offense with a 2-yard touchdown strike to Saeveon Butler less than three minutes into the game to give Las Vegas an early 7-0 lead.

After Rancho senior receiver Zach Foulkrod tied the game lass than one minute later by hauling in a 42-yard touchdown pass from James Cammack, Las Vegas star running back Reggie Bullock took over the game.

Bullock rushed for 163 yards on just 12 carries and found the end zone three times, including two 40-plus-yard touchdown scrambles. He also caught two passes for 48 yards.

“I want to score every time I get the ball and thanks to my line I do what I do,” Bullock said.

But it was Bullock’s 82-yard kickoff return at the end of the first quarter that truly tilted the game in the Wildcats’ favor. That special teams score broke a 14-14 tie and led to 14 more unanswered points by Las Vegas.

“Reggie Bullock is a phenomenal player,” Las Vegas head coach Chris Faircloth said. “He loves playing the game and he plays with a lot of heart. We’d probably be in big trouble tonight without Reggie Bullock.”

Although Rancho trailed 49-26 at halftime, the Rams battled back in the second half to cut their deficit to 56-42 when Cammack connected with his cousin, Dijon Holman, for a 39-yard touchdown with 7:44 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Rams failed to recover the ensuing onside kick and didn't score again.

Cammack, who leads the Las Vegas area in nearly every passing category, completed 27 of 53 passes for 370 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for 85 yards and one score on eight carries.

“These kids did not quit. They played hard until the end,” Rancho head coach Elvin Dick said. “We are trying to change the culture here of losing and I think we made a step in the right direction by not quitting.”

While Las Vegas hosts Canyon Springs (1-6, 1-3) next week, Rancho hopes to break a second-place tie in its division on the road against Eldorado (4-4, 2-2).

“That’s the thing about football, you cant dwell on this game,” Dick said. “We want to go to the playoffs and to do that we have to go through Eldorado. They are a great team and if we dwell on this it will hurt us next week. So we have to pick ourselves up, dust off our backsides and go to work.”

Steve Silver can be reached at 948-7822 or [email protected].

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