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April 19, 2014

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Basic defeats longtime rival to maintain ‘The Jug’

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Richard Brian

Members of the Basic High varsity football team celebrate after defeating Boulder City.

Jug Stays at Basic

Basic beat Boulder City 48-20 to reclaim The Jug. Find additional coverage here or view photos from the game.

Basic vs. Boulder City

Basic's Anthony Ireland looks on from the sidelines during the season opener against Boulder City Friday. Launch slideshow »

Expanded coverage

Basic’s Justin Burdno and Anthony Ireland couldn’t help savoring the moment.

The seniors took turns hoisting "The Jug" to lead teammates in the celebration of a football victory they say will last a lifetime.

It’s still August, but for the football teams at Basic and Boulder City High, Friday night’s season opener was one of their most important games.

No championship or playoff seeding was on the line, just an old-fashioned rivalry game with significant meaning to each community -- even in 2008, some 40 years removed from when the grudge match was at its peak.

Burdno had three touchdowns in a four-minute stretch in the first quarter and Ireland added a pair of scoring runs as the Wolves opened the game with 27 unanswered points to beat Boulder City 48-20.

This was the sixth meeting since 1978 as the series has faded with the schools being placed in different classifications -- Basic in the large-school division and Boulder City one group lower.

The rivalry, at least judging by Basic’s postgame celebration, is back. "The Jug," a milk jug that has been awarded to the victor since the 1978 meeting, will remain painted Basic white and blue.

The game was more significant this fall after Alex Kazel, a Basic graduate and former coach in the Wolves program, became Boulder City’s coach last spring.

“Our kids didn’t want to give that jug to Alex,” Basic coach Jeff Cahill said. “It felt good to get the first one out of the way, but more importantly, the kids are excited to keep the jug.”

Burdno had a pair of interception returns for touchdowns in the first quarter as he took advantage of communication errors between Boulder City quarterback Jake Phillips and his receivers.

His first return went for 22 yards with 6 minutes, 59 seconds to play in the quarter. The second came less than two minutes later as Burdno outraced a pair of would-be tacklers up the sideline for a 48-yard return for a score.

Burdno struck again with 2:44 left in the quarter as he caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Robby Faiman.

“That first one was being in the right spot at the right time,” Burdno said. “He threw it right to me.”

Boulder City, despite showing difficulties learning its new spread offense, kept the game competitive. Trailing 27-0 in the second quarter, Jeremy Smith got the Eagles on the board with a 32-yard touchdown run with 11:18 left in the half.

They missed the extra point, but showed they weren’t going to stop playing.

“We played with heart and never gave up,” Smith said. “There was no quit.”

Boulder City’s other touchdowns came on fumble returns for scores. Alex Dillon scooped up a Faiman fumble and returned it for a 68-yard score late in the first half, while Smith returned a fumble 48 yards in the third quarter to cut the Eagles’ deficit to 41-20.

Boulder City's offense struggled and wouldn’t score again. Its quarterbacks completed 6 of 14 passes for 42 yards.

“We made too many mistakes and dug a big hole,” Kazel said. “We had two busted plays.”

Faiman completed 9-of-12 passes for 114 yards. He also rushed for 81 yards and had a 30-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give Basic a 34-6 advantage. Ireland added a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs in the first half.

Burdno had three receptions for 59 yards and Jeff Pozdol caught four passes for 54 yards. Basic’s final points came with 9:51 to play when second-string quarterback Tyler Dobbins threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Edward Villaros.

Boulder City leads the all-time series 27-16-2, but Basic has won the last six meetings. It’s a series both coaches have promised to continue.

Sports Editor Ray Brewer can be reached at [email protected] or 990-2662.

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