Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 | 10:48 p.m.
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.”