Las Vegas Sun

September 21, 2019

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High School Football:

Desert Pines breaks loose behind punt-return unit to race past Mojave

high school football media day 2015

Christopher DeVargas

Desert Pines football players Trevor Nofoa, Nathaniel Tavita, Marckell Grayson, Natron Auelua-Naki, Sam Poutasi, Vasa Hansell, Angel Torres, Isaiah Morris, Termaine Javea, and Anthony Smith before the 2015 Season.

Desert Pines showed off its offense and defense in a season-opening 50-14 victory over Arbor View last week.

On Friday night, it was time for the Jaguars’ special teams to shine. Vasa Hansell scored a touchdown on a blocked punt and Amari Calvillo-Tatium returned another one for a 70-yard score in a 41-6 victory over Mojave.

“Our special teams are much improved from last year,” Desert Pines coach Tico Rodriguez said. “We needed big plays in the second half, and they gave it to us.”

Desert Pines needed a spark after the first half consisted entirely of defense. The game was scoreless heading into halftime.

“We were trying to hit all the big home runs in the first half,” Rodriguez said. “In the second half, we rolled up our sleeves and played tough football.”

Then, the home runs came naturally. Trevor Nofoa scored on a 90-yard rushing touchdown shortly after Isaiah Morris took a rush 65 yards into the end zone.

The game was 14-6 going into the fourth quarter, when Desert Pines pulled away for the rout. The Jaguars get their most anticipated game next week in a state-championship rematch at Moapa Valley.

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

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