Las Vegas Sun

November 21, 2019

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Desert Pines glides through first round to set up showdown with Moapa Valley

Las Vegas Sun's HS Football Top 10

Christopher DeVargas

Members of the Desert Pines High football team pose for a photo at the Las Vegas Sun’s high school football media day July 20, 2016 at the South Point. They include, from top left, Poutasi Poutasi, Edgar Burrola, Randal Grimes. Middle left, Jalen Graves, Eddie Heckard, Jauta’e Collins. Bottom left, Tony Fields, Isaiah Morris, and Marckell Grayson.

Moapa Valley has ended Desert Pines’ state championship aspirations the last two seasons. The Jaguars will get a chance to return the favor next Friday.

Desert Pines set up a playoff showdown with Moapa Valley for the third straight year by crushing Del Sol 48-7 in the opening round of the class 3A playoffs tonight.

“It’s the way it’s supposed to be,” Desert Pines coach Tico Rodriguez said. “It’s two great programs that respect each other. They like to compete against us, and we like to compete against them.”

And everyone likes watching the great games from what’s turned into an unlikely rivalry. The Pirates have eliminated the Jaguars by a total of five points over the last two years, including an overtime victory in the 2014 state championship game.

Moapa Valley also won 13-12 in last year’s quarterfinals, but this year Desert Pines will be the home team and No. 1 seed. The Jaguars are unbeaten against Class 3A opposition this year, a streak they continued tonight behind more than 200 yards and three touchdowns from senior running back Isaiah Morris against Del Sol.

Senior quarterback Randal Grimes also hit a couple big pass plays, while senior Eddie Heckerd returned a punt for a touchdown. Desert Pines scored 28 in the first quarter, and enacted a running clock by the third.

“We’re starting to get there,” Rodriguez said. “Our penalties are down. We’re moving in the right direction.”

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

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