Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011 | 1:16 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer are back for another high school football discussion. They look at all the matchups this week and spend extra time on the Southeast, which begins league play this week.
This in no way looked like a team that had been physically dominated and seemingly over-matched through two quarters. The Dragons didn’t play like it the rest of the way, either.
Del Sol turned a sloppy first half into a golden second half to slide by Southeast Division rival Silverado 28-24 Friday night. The Dragons trailed 21-7 at halftime.
“I told them to look at it as a baseball score, so it’s 3-1 there” Del Sol coach Preston Goroff said. “That’s what we did.”
Del Sol must have one heck of a bullpen, in that case, because it stymied a previously relentless Silverado offense late in the game. Silverado’s first three possessions out of halftime ended in a blocked punt, a fumble and an interception.
Dragons running back Chris Marshall converted the first two turnovers into touchdowns, while receiver Raheem Jones caught a nine-yard pass from Nate Kirschbaum for the go-ahead score with two minutes left to play in the third quarter.
“We’re known as a second-half comeback team,” Jones said. “Our mentality is to dig deep, tuck it up and play ball.”
It didn’t matter that Silverado controlled time of possession and had more than double the number of yards. In the most important moments, the Dragons rose to the occasion.
With seven minutes remaining, Silverado went for it on a fourth down from Del Sol’s 17-yard line. The pass was incomplete, but a questionable pass interference call gave the Skyhawks a first-and-goal with four chances to tie the game.
Del Sol stuffed the first three plays for minimal gains — which included two runs by Izaiah Thurmon, who had 29 carries for 189 yards on the night — and Silverado opted for a field goal from the three-yard line.
The Skyhawks had the opportunity for a game-winning drive when they got the ball back at their own seven-yard line with 2:42 left to play. But they only made it 25 yards before Jones picked off a pass to secure a victory.
“I saw him come out and knew he was going for a little short pass,” Jones said. “I read the route and played it right.”
Del Sol’s only play that went for more than seven yards in the first half came when Marshall took a sweep 43 yards for a touchdown. Marshall had three total touchdowns on the night and 134 combined rushing and receiving yards.
But a third quarter interception was the play he got the most satisfaction out of it.
“Last week against Eldorado, everyone on my team was talking about how I gave up the only score in the game,” Marshall said. “Everyone was joking about it, but I got an interception now.”
Silverado went ahead 14-0 within the first seven minutes of the game. The Skyhawks recovered a tricky onside kick to start the contest and Thurmon scored his first of three touchdowns a minute later.
Thurmon regularly put his shoulder down and trucked over Del Sol defenders in the first half before they adjusted their defense to limit his effectiveness.
“I think we were just too jacked up for this game at first and showed some jitters,” Goroff said.