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December 22, 2014

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Eldorado rallies from double-digit deficit, wins Cleat Game in OT

Prep Sports Now

Rivalry week on tap for Las Vegas schools

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Las Vegas Sun reporters Case Keefer and Ray Brewer take a closer look at this week's slate of high school football games, including rivalry contests between Las Vegas-Rancho, Chaparral-Eldorado and Basic-Foothill. The fellas also discuss Liberty's slow starts, Gorman's domination and the lack of quality long snappers. They will also have their weekly picks.

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This game had all of the drama you would expect from a rivalry game.

Eldorado High's JaQuorrey Williams rushed for 114 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries Friday, and the visiting Sundevils erased a 13-point first-half deficit against host Chaparral for a 28-27 victory in overtime in the annual “Cleat Game.”

Chaparral received the ball first in overtime with the game tied at 21. The Cowboys, riding a 17-game losing streak, scored on their second play for a 27-21 lead.

But Eldorado’s Wilber Claros blocked the extra point.

Williams scored on the second play of Eldorado’s overtime possession and Chynna Hartmann — the Sundevils’ female kicker — drilled home the game-winning extra point.

“You would have thought this was for the state championship,” said Vernon Brown,” Eldorado’s first-year head coach. “I learned very quickly that this cleat means everything to everybody. It wasn’t so much us fighting for a playoff spot, it was keeping that cleat.”

Former Los Angeles Rams great Merlin Olsen in the 1970s donated one of his cleats for the game, which is bronzed and sits on a 2-foot base. Eldorado has won the last two years.

“That game should be on Classic Sports. That is how good it was,” Brown said.

Williams also threw a 37-yard touchdown pass, connecting with Justin Brown — coach Brown’s son — in the first half to help Eldorado erase an early 13-0 deficit.

Chaparral has struggled with numbers all season and lost 61-33 last week to previously winless Valley. The rivalry game, however, brought out the best in the Cowboys, Brown said.

“I don’t know how they are 0-and whatever,” Brown said. “Those kids play so hard. My hat goes off to their coach.”

Eldorado (4-3, 3-2 Northeast), whose win against Chaparral last year was its lone victory, needs a win in one of its final two games to reach the playoffs. They play Rancho and Las Vegas.

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