Las Vegas Sun

December 3, 2021

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Chaparral blows out Eldorado to win back Merlin Olsen’s cleat

high school football media day 2015

Christopher DeVargas

Chaparral football players Casey Acosta, Richard Nelson, Antwain Allen, and Richard Hernandez (front) before the 2015 Season.

Over the last couple of years, the Cleat Game had played out as arguably Las Vegas’ most competitive high school football rivalry.

Not this season. Chaparral smoked archrival Eldorado 41-8 on the road Thursday night to regain possession of the bronzed cleat that former Los Angeles Rams star Merlin Olsen donated to the rivalry 42 years ago.

Chaparral senior Richard Nelson etched his place in the rivalry’s history with a game for the ages, scoring two rushing touchdowns and returning an interception for the score. Nelson contributed Chaparral’s first two scores on offense before adding the defensive one early in the fourth quarter to make the score 33-0.

Chaparral held a shutout over Eldorado until the final nine seconds when Shane Barnes leapt to catch a 33-yard touchdown heave from Justin Martin. The Cowboys forced two turnovers on the night, but it was the offense that came alive to reverse their fortunes from last week.

Six days after getting shut out 25-0 by Mojave, Chaparral couldn’t be contained. Senior quarterback Andrew Solis tallied a rushing and passing touchdown, while preseason All-City team member Casey Acosta found the end zone on a 24-yard rush.

Chaparral (1-1) hosts Sunrise Mountain next Friday, while Eldorado goes to Silverado.

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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