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May 20, 2019

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high school football:

Palo Verde prevails late in thriller with Green Valley

Palo Verde Football First Official Practice

Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Palo Verde head coach Darwin Rost instructs his players during their first official practice day Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014.

Prep Sports Now

High school football: Nevada > California

Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer gloat over local high school football teams' big out of state weekend before getting sophomoric and starting some trouble with discussions on Bishop Gorman, Centennial, Desert Pines and more.

Graeson Vereen came down with the interception. His classmates came down the stands.

Palo Verde’s star senior safety sealed an upset 25-20 victory over Green Valley with a takeaway in the final seconds Friday night to incite quite the celebration.

“We haven’t had our student body rush the field since, I don’t even remember when,” said Palo Verde coach Darwin Rost. “Maybe in 2004 at the Silver Bowl when we won the state championship or something. They were all fired up. It was a special, exciting night.”

The Panthers bounced back from an embarrassing shutout defeat in their first game of the season to edge the Gators. Rost stressed getting back to Palo Verde’s identity as a physically imposing team all week to his players.

They must have listened, as the Panthers’ ground game was in vintage form. Senior running back Darrion Finn rushed for 108 yards on 15 carries, including a 41-yard touchdown.

Senior running back Jaren Campbell had 20 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown. Palo Verde hung with Green Valley all night, but never led until less than a minute remained.

That’s when the Panthers drove right down the field and junior quarterback Logan Hutchison, who finished with 94 yards on 4-for-10 passing, found senior receiver Ty Fuller for a 22-yard touchdown pass.

“It was a little dive pass, and Ty got behind the defense,” Rost said. “We were moving the ball well, but left them enough time to score.”

Rost knew Green Valley senior Christian Lopez was capable of directing a miraculous comeback. But on a night when Palo Verde held Lopez to 13-for-27 passing and 180 yards, Vereen picked off the quarterback’s final pass.

“Last week wasn’t Panther football at all,” Rost said. “It was not what we’re accustomed to, so it was nice that we played hard, played physical tonight.”

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

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