Published Friday, Sept. 9, 2011 | 11:38 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 | 12:47 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer look ahead to another week of high school football and detail why the Northwest division appears to be the strongest in town. Palo Verde, Arbor View, Centennial, Cimarron and Cheyenne have all looked impressive in the early season.
If any football fans exist who consider themselves special teams enthusiasts, they’ll want a tape of Friday’s game between Spring Valley and Clark.
The two teams’ units played a deciding factor in what unfolded in Spring Valley’s 23-15 victory. The Grizzlies started a comeback after trailing at halftime when they recovered a pooch kick and converted it into a field goal.
Part of the reason they were behind? Clark executed a fake punt to prolong a drive that produced its first touchdown.
“We felt if we could win in the special teams phase of the game, it could put us over the top,” Spring Valley coach Marcus Teal said. “We knew Clark had a really good offense and had some players on defense, so all week we talked about our special teams — we call them our “squat teams” — and they did it.”
The field goal in the third quarter cut Clark's lead to 15-10. The Grizzlies later scored a touchdown to go ahead and received some insurance in the fourth quarter when junior quarterback Gerardo Castillo rushed in a long touchdown.
Castillo’s success in the game was a good sign for Spring Valley’s offense. He also threw a touchdown to Nick Santos, who doubled as the Grizzlies leading rusher on the night.
“It was a good one; it was really tight,” Teal said. “Clark kept after it. We knew they lost a couple of their studs, but those kids this year really play great.”