Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun reporters Case Keefer and Ray Brewer discuss the upcoming high school football season. They will let you know whether or not anyone can dethrone defending state champion Bishop Gorman, release their state title sleepers teams and give a quick breakdown of the area's 30-plus schools.
UNLV fans may want to shield their eyes away from Spring Valley this fall.
Inspired by UNR’s success running the Pistol offense, first-year coach Marcus Teal decided to implement it at Spring Valley.
“After watching Nevada run it with their three-headed monster in the backfield and their quarterback, we thought it was something that could work for our guys,” Teal said. “We thought it was a style that would fit our personnel.”
The Grizzlies version of the Pistol will feature senior Jordan Cox at quarterback with senior Austyn Wallace and junior Nick Santos at running back.
“And with our inexperience up front, I think the zone blocking scheme was something easy for our guys to learn,” Teal said. “We think this offense is going to put up a lot of yards and a lot of points.”
Not to mention the Grizzlies most potent weapon, senior Brandon Lopez, will line up at wide receiver.
Lopez, who is 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, caught 22 passes for an average of 18 yards during Spring Valley’s up-and-down campaign last year.
“He’s not 6-foot-4 and he can’t jump out of the gym, but he does the little things right,” Teal said. “He catches the ball whenever it’s near him and refuses to not be successful.”
Teal, who has served as an assistant since Spring Valley opened six years ago, is also tailoring the defense to his player’s strengths.
He said that although the 4-4 has worked well for the program in the past, the Grizzlies would run a 4-3 this season.
“I think with the players we have over there, it will make us a lot more aggressive on defense,” Teal said. “We’re going to put a lot of pressure on people.”
One of the unit’s leaders is senior defensive lineman Javell Valley, who should be proficient in both plugging rushing lanes and rushing the passer.
Spring Valley has put together one of the most consistent programs of the last five years. The Grizzlies haven’t missed the playoffs since their inaugural season in 2004.
But they also have never won a playoff game. It’s a sour point for Teal and one that he hopes changes with the infusion of a new offense and defense.
“It’s one of those things that has bogged us down since we began,” Teal said. “We just haven’t found a way to finish. With the coaches we have coming back and the guys we have in place, the overall goal for us is to get that playoff win.”