Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 | 11 p.m.
In the 1 1/2 years that Chris Sawyers has been at the helm of the Virgin Valley football team, the team had seen a steady improvement.
The Bulldogs defeated Mojave in the first round of the Division I-A playoffs, 27-0, giving Sawyers his first career playoff victory.
“We’re ahead of the curve,” Sawyers said of his team’s growth since he took over.
Quarterback Garrett Leavitt had an exceptional game. He threw for 343 yards with three touchdowns on 21-of-34 passing. Devonte Milligan caught five passes for 162 with two touchdowns. Dee Bowler also eclipsed the 100-yard mark, catching eight passes for 112 yards.
Junior Paongo led the team in rushing with 67 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown.
Despite only rushing for 107 yards as a team, Sawyers said the running game was effective enough to open up Leavitt’s big arm.
“We’re balanced, and that’s what makes us hard to defend,” Virgin Valley coach Chris Sawyers said.
Defensively, the Bulldogs were able to limit the Rattlers’ offense. Sawyers noted that Bowler and Caswell played well on defense.
“We worked on fundamentals in practice and it translated on the field,” he said.
The win sets up a rematch with Moapa Valley in the Division I-A Southern Region semifinals. Sawyers said playing the Pirates earlier in the season should pay dividends.
“With the known (commodity), they’re pretty good,” Sawyers said of his team.