Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 | 12:30 a.m.
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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer compare the run Moapa Valley is on in the Division 1-A to the one Bishop Gorman has put together this season in the upper decision. Other familiar arguments arise, including a debate on whether Arbor View should be considered as the second-best team in the state. Give us your thoughts in the comments.
The Jaguars, after struggling to start the season, are a confident a bunch. And that makes them one of Division-IA’s most dangerous teams.
Malik Davis rushed for 137 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns against Chaparral, and Desert Pines started to resemble the team everyone thought they would be this fall. They were physical upfront on both sides of the ball and have several players at the skilled position who could score each time they touched the ball.
After opening the season with a pair of defeats, Desert Pines improved to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in league games in securing a playoff berth in the Sunrise Region of the Division I-A. Next week, they host power Moapa Valley to close the regular season, and could force a three-way tie in first-place with Moapa Valley and Boulder City.
“The kids are starting to buy in,” Desert Pines coach Paul Bennett said. “I tell you what, it takes awhile, and I don’t know why (it takes so long), but the kids are starting to believe.
Desert Pines’ quarterback Iquan Corsey accounted for three first-half touchdowns, including finding Tim Hough for a 14-yard scoring strike on the last play of the second quarter for a 30-13 halftime lead.
Chaparral opened the second half with a long scoring drive to trim its deficit to 30-20, but Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, and Desert Pines never looked back.
With each big play, the players grew more excited and confident. Not only were they clinching a playoff berth, they were proving a long stay in the postseason could be a reality.
“We knew we had to have this to make the playoffs,” Davis said. “We practiced real hard all week and came out tonight and dominated the opponent.”
And it wasn’t just Davis.
Several Desert Pines players — such as Eric Wilkes, who had 100 total yards of offense and a 40-yard touchdown reception — nearly broke through for long gains each time they touched the ball.
“We attacked them the way we thought we could attack them,” Bennett said.
Antonio Thomas had nearly 100 yards rushing and two touchdown for the Cowboys, but for the most part, the Desert Pines defense held Thomas in check. They’ll need a similar effort next week against Moapa Valley’s Conner Mortensen, who is arguably the division’s top player.
“We have to try our best to slow the (Moapa Valley) backs down,” Bennett said. “(Mortensen) is a great back, by the way. He runs hard and has good cutting ability. They are a well-disciplined team, a well-oiled machine. We’ll try our best to slow it down.”
Chaparral High School has seen better days.
Once among the top performing schools in the Clark County School District, Chaparral High is undergoing changes to counter dismal test scores and the lowest graduation rate in the district.
The campus located near East Flamingo Road and U.S. 95 is one of five turnaround schools not meeting the expectations outlined in No Child Left Behind.
Chaparral is now looking to clean up its reputation, touching every aspect of the school from restrooms to test scores.
Changes weren’t received well by students who openly protested the cuts to faculty and the new order that banned the use of cell phones and music players during the school day.
Under stricter rules, tardy students are locked out of classrooms, bathroom breaks during class time aren’t allowed and the lunch hour was pushed back to 1:40 p.m.
Superintendent Dwight Jones told students he’s not settling for half successes.
“Right now, 50 percent of the kids in this school don’t graduate high school. Is that acceptable to you? Think about that. Right now, some of the friends that you’re with aren’t going to graduate. Is that OK? That’s unacceptable to me. I think you guys ought to kick all of us out.”
- Year built:
- Principal (Year Hired):
- David Wilson (2011)
- Approximately 2,250
- School Report Card:
Compiled by Gregan Wingert