Las Vegas Sun

September 30, 2014

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high school football:

Moapa Valley’s run of six straight state title game appearances snapped in semifinals

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Moapa Valley High football players (from left) Sam Rebman, Jordan Grow and Mat McDermand before the 2013 season.

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Humbled by the vitriol spawned from last week's podcast, Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer try their best to make this edition a happy one. They touch on all the teams that are still alive in the hunt for a state championship while specifically looking back at wins last week from Palo Verde and Canyon Springs.

The Moapa Valley High football team’s undefeated season came to an end today, with the Pirates falling 34-24 to host Churchill County of Fallon in the Division I-A state semifinals.

Despite having eight turnovers (including six interceptions), the Pirates (11-1) had a chance to win late in the fourth quarter. They trailed 27-24 and forced Churchill County to punt with about three minutes remaining.

But Moapa Valley roughed the Churchill County punter, giving the opposition a first down. On the next play, Churchill County rushed 62 yards for a touchdown to extend its lead to double digits and seal the win.

It’s the first time since 2006 the Division I-A power from Overton won’t play in the state championship game. Churchill County will host Faith Lutheran next week for the crown.

“It was one of those games where we gave them gift after gift,” Moapa Valley coach Brent Lewis said. “We shot ourselves in the foot every chance we got. We had eight turnovers but still had a chance to win.”

Moapa Valley gave up a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the game in trailing from start to finish.

Zach Hymas completed 14 of 27 passes for 187 yards and two first-half touchdowns, connecting with Justin Hughes for a 15-yard score and Jeremy Waite for a 49-yard touchdown in the second quarter as the Pirates trailed just 14-12 at halftime.

They couldn’t continue the momentum in the second half, fumbling on their second play. Churchill County turned that turnover into a touchdown and 21-12 lead.

“We would do something good, then shoot ourselves in the foot on the next play,” Lewis said.

Andrew Huerta had a 5-yard touchdown for Moapa Valley in the fourth quarter to trim the deficit to 27-24. But the Pirates wouldn’t score again.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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