Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 | 11:14 p.m.
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Las Vegas Sun reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer disagree on what will happen in the Sunrise Region championship game between Liberty and Las Vegas. They also break down the rest of the week's games.
The Moapa Valey High football team couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to take the lead Saturday in the 3A state championship game at Arbor View.
Trailing Truckee High of California (near Lake Tahoe), by six points at halftime, the Pirates recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half to receive the ball around the Truckee 30-yard line.
Despite moving the ball to inside the Truckee 10-yard line, Moapa Valley couldn’t find the end zone and had to settle for a field goal attempt.
However, the attempt was blocked and Moapa Valley couldn’t get anything going offensively the rest of the night in losing, 27-7. It was the second straight year Moapa lost to Truckee in the state finals, being shutout 28-0 last year.
“If we convert there, it’s a different game,” Moapa Valley coach Brent Lewis said.
Truckee, which has a 24-game winning streak, was too much for Moapa Valley to handle defensively.
It took away the Pirates’ rushing attack all night, and when they were forced to pass in the second half while trying to catch up, quarterback Kelan Weiss had virtually no time to pass.
What was even more impressive was the fact Truckee was pressuring Weiss primarily with a three-man front. That enabled Truckee to drop eight into pass coverage, which made for a long half for Weiss finding receivers.
“We thought we had a pretty good scheme going in,” Lewis said.
Moapa Valley is a 3A Southern League power, but has to replace several key performers from last year’s team. Despite few with regular experience, the Pirates (7-5) won the games they need to in returning to the finals.
Being limited to around 30 yards rushing, which is what happened against Truckee, wasn’t a common occurrence — even with a rebuilt offensive line.
“We only had three guys with any experience at all,” Lewis said. “We took our lumps at times.”
Moapa Valley scored its lone touchdown in the first half on a Weiss touchdown pass to Hayden Cooper.
Morgan Nevin had three touchdown runs for Truckee, including two in the final 14 minutes to put the game out of reach.