Las Vegas Sun

May 26, 2022

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kickoff 2014:

Virgin Valley settles down after inauspicious start against Western

2014 High School Football

Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

From left, Virgin Valley High School football players Brayden Lee, Branden Haun and Junior Paongo on July 21, 2014.

On the first play from scrimmage as the coach of Virgin Valley, Yori Ludvigson witnessed a 70-yard touchdown run — for opposing Western.

“I was like, ‘Oh, that’s not how I was planning to start tonight,’” Ludvigson recalled. “That gave them some fire.”

Luckily for Ludvigson and the Bulldogs, it blazed out shortly. Ludvigson was triumphant in his Nevada coaching debut, leading Virgin Valley to a 41-13 victory over Western.

It wasn’t as easy as everyone expected and as the final score indicated, though. Western stayed with Virgin Valley throughout the first half, trailing just 21-13 at halftime after scoring on a 92-yard passing play.

“I give them some credit,” Ludvigson said. “They broke some plays.”

The Bulldogs broke more. Senior running back Junior Paongo led the way with two rushing touchdowns as well as a blocked punt that he recovered for a touchdown.

Virgin Valley added a second blocked punt later in the game, and Merlin Hafen also turned a turnover into points when he scooped up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown.

Junior Josh Bishop scored a touchdown and was among the receiving corps that played with both of Virgin Valley’s junior quarterbacks, Cody Jones and Jarron Linge, throughout the night.

“Our line played very well all night,” Ludvigson added. “We had a lot of time to pass and threw the ball pretty well.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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