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September 23, 2014

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Push for title starts in Mesquite

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Stephen R. Sylvanie/Special to Home News

Matt Causey (45) puts a block on Breenan Stott (10) in pursuit of a loose ball after the Eagles blocked a punt during Thursday’s game at Desert Oasis High.

Boulder City at Desert Oasis

Joey Felsenfeld carries the ball in the first quarter against the Diamondbacks at Desert Oasis High School Thursday night. Launch slideshow »

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Boulder City High football coach Alex Kazel said his team will be prepared when the Eagles face Virgin Valley at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the first round of the 3A playoffs.

Virgin Valley has won the last three meetings between the teams, including a 42-16 win in Boulder City on Oct. 16.

"It's a great advantage having a second shot," Kazel said. "The first game was the first chance coach (Alex) Moore and myself had to see them play, and we learned a lot."

Virgin Valley (8-2, 2-1), is the No. 2 seed, while the Eagles (5-4, 1-2) are the No. 3 seed.

The Eagles traveled to Mesquite twice in 2007, including the playoffs and lost both times. Virgin Valley ended Boulder City's season with a 42-24 win last year.

Both teams lost their regular season finales. The Bulldogs fell to Moapa Valley 35-20, while Boulder City lost at Desert Oasis 28-27 in overtime on Oct. 30.

It was a loss Kazel said he doesn't want his team to forget as it prepared for the postseason.

"We didn't come out with the intensity necessary for a football game," Kazel said. "Hopefully, we learned our lesson and take it with us on the road."

Boulder City held leads in the fourth quarter and in overtime, but each time first-year Desert Oasis rallied.

Trailing 27-21 in overtime, Desert Oasis junior wide receiver Elijah Mitchell caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Breenen Stott and the ensuing extra point gave Desert Oasis the win.

"We made too many mistakes and didn't capitalize on our opportunities," Kazel said.

Senior safety Alex Critcher said the loss was a wake-up call to get ready for the postseason.

"We can't screw around this week. We deserve 100 percent of what coach gives us this week," Critcher said. "We will be better prepared for the playoffs."

Brent Hinckley can be reached at 990-7822 or [email protected].

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