Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 | 11:40 p.m.
Moapa Valley received a litmus test to see how much its passing game had really improved in the first round of the playoffs.
The results were flawless as the Pirates buried Sierra Vista through the air in a 52-12 victory.
“They put eight guys in the box, so we didn’t do much running tonight,” Moapa Valley coach Brent Lewis said. “We felt like everything was open on the outside, so we threw it a lot.”
Senior quarterback Nate Cox put early-season turnover issues further behind him as he threw for 255 yards and five touchdowns on 15-for-26 passing. Derek Cope made for his favorite scoring target as the senior had three touchdowns on his four receptions for 52 yards.
Senior Trystin Deal and junior Jacob Leavitt also had touchdowns. Leading receiver R.J. Hubert, who had 134 yards, found the end zone on an interception return on defense.
The result was never in doubt, as Moapa Valley could quickly turn its focus to next week’s showdown against rival Desert Pines. The Pirates beat the Jaguars in last year’s state championship before losing in an early-season rematch, though Desert Pines later had to forfeit the victory for using an ineligible player.
“It will be one for the ages we sure hope,” Lewis said.