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July 28, 2014

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Green Valley picks up last-minute victory at Moapa Valley

Prep Sports Now

All eyes on Chey-town vs. Palo Verde

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Palo Verde hosts Cheyenne in a Thursday night game between two traditional Northwest powers. The Panthers have looked nearly invincible while starting the season 5-0, but could the Desert Shields give them a scare in this rivalry game?

At this point, Green Valley coach Matt Gerber could probably offer a class on how to orchestrate a climactic football comeback.

For the second time this season, Green Valley (3-3) erased a double-digit deficit in the second half and won in the final seconds when it beat Moapa Valley (2-3) 23-22.

“We preach to them all the time that you’re never out of the game,” Gerber said. “We’ve had a couple of wins like that where you can really see it come through.”

Green Valley trailed 16-0 in the second quarter and 22-8 in the third quarter before rallying for the victory.

Moapa Valley committed a costly turnover with about three minutes remaining at Green Valley’s 15-yard line.

The Gators drove 80 yards and scored with a minute left when Paul McKay connected with Kris Hanson on a 40-yard touchdown pass.

That made the score 22-21 and Gerber felt he had a decision — kick the field goal for overtime or go for the win. It didn’t take him long to come up with the answer.

“I had been in this position before and we were in an environment where you didn’t want to go into overtime with this team,” Gerber said. “On the road, you go for the win. We had a play that we felt worked for the situation.”

Gerber’s thought-process was spot-on as Ryan Lopez got into the end zone to give Green Valley the lead. Moapa Valley returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards, but Green Valley’s David George intercepted a Pirates pass to end the game.

“I thought we played our best game of the year,” Moapa Valley coach Brent Lewis said. “We just had individual mistakes that cost us and a bunch of penalties. We had chances to win.”

Aaron Love and Rakeem Griffin also scored touchdowns for the Gators.

“To pull one out in such a hostile environment after coming all the way out to Moapa Valley was exciting,” Gerber said.

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