Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 | 11:51 p.m.
When the Silverado High football team took the field in late August for its first game, some of the players weren’t all too familiar with each other.
The Skyhawks roster, which only had two dozen players for most of last season, started to grow in the summer with players moving into the school zone to play for Randall Cunningham, the former NFL quarterback and UNLV great.
But the players didn’t know each other, everything from how they played to their personalities.
They’ve quickly figured each other out — and have quickly become a contender in the Sunrise Region.
Silverado won its first playoff game since 2007 on Friday, using a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown from Hawaii transfer Jeremiah Pritchard in a 35-21 victory against Foothill.
On Sept. 4, Foothill beat Silverado 45-22. What a difference a few months together make.
“We all come from different places, we didn’t have that bond,” Pritchard said. “But we became brothers. We are working good together.”
Pritchard’s touchdown ignited a stretch of 21 unanswered points for Silverado to give it three straight wins and a 7-3 overall record. More important, the Skyhawks advance to face Basic next week in the Sunrise Regional semifinals — when just seven of Southern Nevada’s 36 teams are still playing, a fact not lost on Cunningham.
“We started in 40th (place),” Cunningham said. “That is what I keep telling the kids, ‘Guys we started off in 40th, where are we now?’”
Silverado led 21-14 at halftime after Devin Ross caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Micah Weber with 14 seconds left in the half.
Weber passed for three touchdowns, including connecting with Devion Clayton on a 64-yard score in the first quarter to erase an early 7-0 deficit. The speedster Clayton had numerous big plays for Silverado and nearly 200 receiving yards.
Both he and Pritchard have myriad scholarship offers, and both are new to Silverado, with Clayton playing last season at Palo Verde.
“There are people who believe in us now,” Cunningham said. “It’s really an honor to coach these kids. You teach kids how to love one another as family and they’ll find a way to be successful.”
Justice Jackson and Devon Mueller had touchdown runs for Foothill, and Brandon Hargis had arguably the best play of the night when he reached out and caught a ball on his fingertips in the back of the endzone for an 11-yard touchdown.