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May 24, 2022

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Boulder City gets win at home

Boulder City wins

Jummel Hidrosollo / Special to the Home News

River Valley defensive back Nick Rowe brings down Boulder City linebacker Jeremy Smith during the season home opener at Boulder City High School on Friday.

Boulder City gets a win

Panthers running back Sidney Hodge looks upfield during a punt return during Friday's game against the Dragons. Launch slideshow »

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Willie Nelson wasn't thinking about the Boulder City High football team when he wrote "On the Road Again," but the title is fitting.

After a 10-6 win against River Valley of Mohave, Ariz., on Friday in their first home game of the season, the Eagles begin a three-game stretch on the road, beginning with a trip to Yermo, Calif., to take on Silver Valley High next week.

Boulder City plays six road games this season and doesn't play at home again until Oct. 17 for the homecoming game against Virgin Valley.

Boulder City coach Alex Kazel said he was pleased to see the offense put together the game-winning drive in the fourth quarter against River Valley.

"They played tough and came back in the second half to win. In the fourth quarter, we just wore them down, and I think it just goes to show our conditioning and how hard these guys are working," Kazel said.

A week after forcing three turnovers and six sacks for a win at Mohave High in Bullhead City, Ariz., the Eagles defense kept up the pressure against River Valley, forcing five turnovers ­— four fumbles and one interception.

"We go hard and just pick everyone up," said senior defensive end Alex Dillon, who had two fumble recoveries. "The defense stepped up and gave the offense a second chance."

The win against River Valley marked the first time since September 2005 the Eagles won their home opener and posted consecutive wins.

"This feels good. We've got all the firsts out of the way — first road game, first long road trip and now first home game," Kazel said. "There's nothing new left to surprise us."

Boulder City took the lead late in the fourth quarter when senior wide receiver Joey Western scored on a pass from junior quarterback Ryan Washburn, who came into the game after senior quarterback Jake Phillips was injured on the previous drive.

"Ryan put it right into Western's hands. It was impressive," Dillon said.

The Eagles had taken possession of the ball on River Valley's own 34-yard line on a botched punt. Six plays later, Washburn connected with Western for the go-ahead score with 3 minutes, 10 seconds remaining.

"Ryan gets reps in practice just like Jake does. We just ran the same thing and didn't have to change anything when he came in, and he made a nice throw to Joey in the end zone," Kazel said.

River Valley got the ball back with a little more than three minutes to play and started to move down the field. Dillon recovered his second fumble of the game at the 50 yard line with 1:24 remaining and the Eagles were able to run out the clock.

Boulder City's offense started the game moving the ball from its own 45 yard line to the River Valley 20 in six plays, before Phillips was intercepted at the 5 yard line. The offense then had seven straight three-and-out possessions.

"There were some holes in the line, but we're all going to get better," senior running back Spencer Sasarita said. He led the Eagles with 71 rushing yards on 18 carries.

River Valley scored first when running back Bobby Stahel broke through the Eagles defense for a 71 yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Stahel finished with a game-high 168 rushing yards on 22 attempts.

Boulder City got its first points when Phillips split the uprights with a 33 yard field goal to cut the lead to 6-3 with 8:19 left in the third quarter.

Twice in the second half, the Dustdevils were poised to pull ahead, but the Eagles defense forced a turnover.

River Valley drove to the Eagles 15 yard line in eight plays in the third quarter, when Boulder City forced a fumble recovered by Dillon.

Then, in the fourth quarter, the Dustdevils reached the Boulder City 14 yard line when senior linebacker Shane Levin intercepted a pass to kill the drive.

The Eagles had two turnovers, a fumble and an interception, but River Valley never capitalized.

Kazel said he hopes to continue to see progress from the offense, which had just 164 total yards and seven first downs.

"It's been three games and three different defenses we've had to face," Kazel said. "The more we see, the more we able to pick up blitzes and make the right reads."

Senior defensive end Alex Dillon said he isn't worried about the upcoming road stretch. "I'm looking forward to each game to see how we do," he said.

Brent Hinckley can be reached at 990-2687 or [email protected].

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