Ray Brewer, iphone photo
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer go all around the valley on this week's podcast, mentioning a couple surprise 2-0 teams along with usual conversation on powers like Bishop Gorman and Liberty. They also dive deep into this weekend's stacked schedule, which includes Las Vegas visiting Palo Verde and a showdown between two of Division 1A's best running backs in Mojave's Ty Flanagan and Sierra Vista's Maleik Broady.
Sierra Vista High senior Andrew Peterson hadn’t recorded an interception in nearly five seasons of football before Friday.
That’s when the 5-foot-10, 170-pound defensive back intercepted two passes against Western, returning both for touchdowns in a 64-0 victory. A two-way player, Peterson also rushed for a pair of touchdowns to help Sierra Vista improve to 3-0 on the season.
For his efforts, Peterson was named the Sun’s player of the week. The award isn’t necessarily designed for an established player or someone committed to a Division I school. Rather, it is for those talented athletes under the radar who deserve recognition for their efforts.
That perfectly describes Peterson — and his team.
Sierra Vista is one of the Las Vegas area’s biggest surprises with its undefeated start to the season, winning comfortably each game, including twice by the mercy rule of more than 45 points. Star running back Maliek Broady is one of the state’s best, but it’s players such as Peterson who have been difference-makers in the hot start.
Peterson primarily played defensive back and linebacker last year, but he has thrived this year in his role as a two-way player while getting carries at running back.
“He has great natural speed and is still learning how to run with the ball,” Sierra Vista coach John Foss said. “The kid is really explosive. He needs to realize how good he could be.”
Peterson says the two defensive touchdowns carried more importance, partially because an interception return for a score is rare. After all, he’s been playing football since middle school and hadn’t recorded an interception. The returns went for 35 and 14 yards.
“I definitely wasn’t going to get caught (on my way) to the end zone,” Peterson said.
Sierra Vista’s undefeated record will be on the line Friday against Mojave in a crucial Division I-A Sunset game. Both teams feature elite running backs — Broady and Mojave’s Ty Flanagan — in what is being billed as one of the games of the week.
Peterson knows the game will determine whether the Mountain Lions will be state championship contenders. Two of Sierra Vista's three victories have come against inferior opponents, and Mojave is a significant step up in competition.
“I think we can go all the way,” Peterson said. “If we can get a couple of good hits on (Flanagan), we can stop him. If we can stop the run, they won’t be able to pass on us.”
And if Mojave does decide to pass, Peterson would love nothing more to add another interception return to his stat line.
More about Andrew:
Career ambitions: To play college football and study law.
Favorite teams: Peterson is a fan of the University of Arizona and San Francisco 49ers. He attended a game at Arizona and was instantly attracted to their stadium and the Wildcats' high-scoring offense.
Favorite pregame meal: Alfredo pasta.
Favorite movie: "Seven Pounds," starring Will Smith.