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September 1, 2014

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Basic hangs close as Wildcats get 28-21 win

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Kyle B. Hansen

Las Vegas quarterback Emir Lopez (7) hands the ball off to running back Reggie Bullock (5) during Friday’s game at Basic.

Las Vegas at Basic

Las Vegas' Trevor Lowe (80) kicks the ball off to Basic during the fourth quarter of Friday's game. Launch slideshow »

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Las Vegas Wildcats sophomore Jason Faubion saw the play develop from his linebacker position.

Five seconds later, he was standing in the end zone with his first varsity touchdown.

With the Wildcats trailing host Basic 13-7 in the third quarter and the offense struggling for yardage, Faubion and the defense took matters into their own hands.

The defense recorded two touchdowns on fumble returns in a 40-second stretch as Las Vegas erased a 13-point deficit for a 28-21 victory.

Faubion’s 23-yard return for a score gave Las Vegas a 14-13 lead with four minutes, 35 seconds to play in the third.

Not bad for someone playing in his second-ever game under the Friday night lights.

“I saw the play break down and knew I could make a play,” Faubion said.

Two plays and 40 seconds later, Ray Langston scooped up another Basic fumble and went 4 yards for a score and 21-13 Wildcats advantage.

The sequence was a welcome change from the team’s first-half performance, coach Chris Faircloth said. The Wildcats had problems containing Basic’s spread option offense before making adjustments at halftime.

“We settled down a little bit and got some pressure on the quarterback,” Faircloth said.

Basic scored on its next possession on a Robby Faiman 42-yard touchdown pass to Justin Burdno, and Faiman tied the game at 21 when he rushed in the 2-point conversion with 6:55 to play.

That’s when Las Vegas’ struggling offense kicked it up a notch. The Wildcats went on an 11-play, 80-yard drive and went ahead for good on Reggie Bullock’s 4-yard touchdown run with 3:05 left. Bullock led all rushers with 92 yards on 18 carries.

Basic had three passes into the end zone in the final seconds but couldn’t score the equalizer.

“Basic was everything we expected them to be,” Faircloth said. “They were tough and gave us a big fight.”

Basic had more than its share of chances to win. It opened the scoring in the first quarter when Omar Valenzuela returned an interception 67 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Basic advantage.

The Wolves extended their lead to 13-0 when Faiman connected with Burdno on a 15-yard scoring strike. Las Vegas trimmed its deficit to 13-7 with 2:59 to play in the first half on an Emir Lopez 38-yard touchdown to Aaron Frankin.

Las Vegas (6-1, 3-0) has won seven of the last eight Sunrise Region titles and is one of the state’s perennial powers.

Basic coach Jeff Cahill said his team showed it could play with one of the state’s best — even if the game was a non-league contest that had no bearing on the standings. Both teams are in first place of their respective leagues.

“In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t all too bad of a loss,” Cahill said. “I’m happy with the way we played but not happy with the loss.”

Faiman completed 9 of 18 passes for 122 yards and Jeff Pozdol had five receptions for 51 yards.

Sports Editor Ray Brewer can be reached at [email protected].

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