Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 | 12:30 a.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.
At the start of the fourth quarter there was almost nothing more the Sierra Vista defense could do.
They had held Durango to only one score and fewer than 100 total yards of offense but still trailed 7-3.
Then senior defensive end Luis DeLaRosa jumped on a fumbled handoff exchange by Durango inside its 3-yard line to give the Sierra Vista offense a golden opportunity.
Lopaka Kolone cashed in, vaulting over the defensive line and into the end zone to give Sierra Vista a 10-7 win, preserving the Mountain Lions’ perfect season for one more week.
“My heart was pumping,” Kolone said. “I really need to score to get our team up.”
“We thought we would just pin them down there and see if we could make something happen and fortunately they did,” said Sierra Vista coach John Foss. “To get the ball in that field position we were really fortunate. I think that when the kids work hard they get lucky.”
The Trailblazers' shot at a game-winning drive was halted when Shane Alcantra burst through the line and sacked Kaden Renshaw.
“We just had to pressure him because we knew he was a good quarterback that could scramble,” Alcantra said.
The Mountain Lions’ front seven wreaked havoc in the backfield all night, sacking Renshaw six times and holding Durango to only 21 rushing yards.
“We have been practicing all week,” Alcantra said. “We knew what they were going to run and we were ready for it.”
The stellar defensive performance wasn’t the only thing that held Durango’s offense down. Sophomore running back Bryan LaGrange ran for 80 yards — most of which came in the second half — to help Sierra Vista control the clock.
“The kids fought hard and we knew that if we got the running game going a little in the second half then we were going to be in pretty good shape,” Foss said.
The Mountain Lions' opening drive of the second half consumed nearly the entire third quarter and resulted in Durango being pinned deep in its own territory — setting up the game-winning turnover and touchdown.
Durango’s only offense came through the passing game, where sophomore receiver Kevin O’Neill had five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.
“I think our defense did a great job,” Foss said. “We tend to get beat sometimes on the pass and that happened again.”
With the win, Sierra Vista stays undefeated and tied atop the Southwest with Bishop Gorman — who it will close out the regular season against on Nov. 4.
“It’s really great to be 8-0,” Alcantra said. “We deserve it because we’ve been working hard all summer in the weight room, on the practice field and in summer camp in Southern Utah. That’s when it all started and we have a brotherhood.”