Friday, Oct. 21, 2016 | 11:25 p.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports editors Ray Brewer and Case Keefer recount games they attended on Friday before moving to this week's schedule of high school football action.
There isn’t a better centerpiece for Moapa Valley’s offense like senior running back Jacob Leavitt.
Leavitt carried the load for the Pirates, rushing for 191 yards on 23 carries with three touchdowns to lead Moapa Valley to a 53-40 victory over Chaparral on Friday.
“We've got a hell of a horse to go to,” Moapa Valley coach Brent Lewis said. “That’s what we've got to do. That’s our DNA.”
The Pirates improved to 6-3 (3-1, 3A Sunrise League) and enter the playoffs as the No. 2 seed, where they will host Pahrump Valley on Thursday. A potential matchup with 3A power Desert Pines looms in the quarterfinals.
After starting off the year 3-3 and among whispers of a down year, Moapa Valley looked dominant in its last three games.
Since losing to Virgin Valley, the Pirates outscored opponents 171-71.
“Traditionally, this is the way we do it. We take a few lumps early, but we get our kids playing,” Lewis said. “We were 5-3 going into the game and every game we lost was on the road. That’s a big step for us. The progression this team has made from Week 1 to now is night and day.”
Chaparral quarterback Santiago Vialpando, who entered the night fourth in passing yards in the state regardless of level, was limited to 209 yards on 19-of-30 passing with three touchdowns and four interceptions.
The Cowboys (4-5, 2-2) now turn their attention to the post-season. Chaparral will travel to Cheyenne on Thursday for its opening-round matchup, and Chaparral coach Paul Nihipali remains confident in his team’s potential.
“We’re still in the hunt. We have to get them over this hump,” Nihipali said. “There is still hope. We will make adjustments and move forward.”