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April 18, 2014

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Moapa Valley races past Lowry in 3A state semifinals

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Moapa Valley will play Truckee next week in the 3A state championship game.

The Pirates advanced to the title game after defeating Lowry 35-20 Saturday afternoon. Moapa Valley trailed by 6 entering the fourth quarter but scored three late touchdowns to pull away.

“We noticed they were kind of celebrating on their sideline before the fourth quarter thinking they had it wrapped up,” Moapa Valley coach Brent Lewis said. “That got our kids’ attention.”

Quarterback Kelan Weiss threw an early fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Casen Lewis, and Moapa converted the extra point to take a 1-point lead.

Weiss threw for 302 yards on 16-for-29 passing. Lewis caught five passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

As happy as Lewis was with his offense’s resiliency, he was more pleased with the Pirates' defensive performance. They held Lowry’s leading rusher, who averaged nearly 200 yards per game, to 81 yards.

“We really made them one-dimensional,” Lewis said.

Moapa Valley did make its share of mistakes, including two interceptions. One of them came at the 8-yard line and Lowry returned it 92 yards for a touchdown.

The Pirates focus will be on eliminating their miscues for next week’s rematch. Truckee defeated Moapa 27-0 in last year’s state championship game.

“We know they are really good,” Lewis said. “We are going to have to play really good to beat them. I think they intimidate the northern teams quite a bit, but we aren’t going to back down.”

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