Las Vegas Sun

September 17, 2014

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high school football:

Spring Valley returns to the playoffs by beating Sierra Vista

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Las Vegas Sun

Spring Valley High football players Tyler Stevens, Marquist Bell and Matthew Cataldi before the 2013 season.

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Sunrising

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer celebrate the start of the Sunrise Region playoffs with an all-encompassing look at the first round of games. Don't worry; they save time for discussion on Palo Verde vs. Arbor View and the Division 1-A quarterfinals

The last two years haven’t been easy for Spring Valley’s football team.

Once a postseason fixture, the Grizzlies fell just short of the playoffs in 2011 and 2012. They made it their goal to return this season.

The wait is over. Spring Valley claimed the Southwest Division’s final slot in a 21-13 victory over Sierra Vista Friday night.

“It’s a great feeling to be back,” Spring Valley coach Marcus Teal said. “The kids are beside themselves. We’re all very excited.”

The Grizzlies pulled it off despite being without starting quarterback Christian Tasi, who suffered a fractured jaw in a car accident earlier this week. Filling in was sophomore Anthony Vasquez.

Teal had his reservations about starting an underclassman in the program’s biggest game of the last three years, but was left with no other options.

“He really stepped up,” Teal said of Vasquez. “He did the best he could possibly do for a kid who just started playing quarterback two months ago. I can’t say enough about him.”

Vasquez put Spring Valley on top 14-7 when he found Logan Cruz for a 30-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Cruz also scored a rushing touchdown to tie the game at 7 after Sierra Vista struck first.

Cruz and E.J. Wilbert, who scored the Grizzlies’ final touchdown, carried the offense with Tasi on the sidelines. All the game’s points came in the first half.

Spring Valley must travel to take on four-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman next week in the playoffs.

“We’re just glad we’re getting to play for another week,” Teal said.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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