Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 | 1 a.m.
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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters spend extra time this week discussing impending matchups between Green Valley and Coronado and Centennial and Arbor View. They also look back on the Henderson Bowl and Bishop Gorman's thrilling victory. ***Note: We apologize for the audio-level issues and are looking into correcting the malfunction for next week. In the meantime, please turn up your volume in order to hear Keefer.***
When Arbor View High football coach Dan Barnson addressed his team Thursday after a convincing 35-7 victory against visiting Centennial, he was quick to remind the players why they won the season-opening game.
“You didn’t win the game tonight,” Barnson said pointing to the field. “You won it the past six months.”
When the team returned home from camp in Utah this summer, Barnson’s offseason program was simple. They didn’t touch a football for six weeks, focusing full-time on weight training and conditioning.
The results were obvious against Centennial. Arbor View dominated the line of scrimmages with bigger and stronger players. Its running backs were faster and the Aggies' defense was relentless in scoring two touchdowns.
“All we did is went in the weight room — lift, run and work on speed,” Barnson said. “Then, we come back in August (to the field) and give them a fresh start. It worked.”
Arbor View wasted no time in taking the lead for good. Ricky Clark rushed 73 yards on the first play from scrimmage, and two plays later, quarterback Andrew Cornwell plunged in for a 1-yard touchdown and 7-0 lead.
They needed just 64 seconds to go 80 yards in three plays. Those 64 seconds made a big-time statement to the rest of the Las Vegas area. Arbor View, which was ranked No. 5 in the Sun’s preseason poll, will be a force.
“Eight more to go,” Barnson said, referring to regular season games left.
The Aggies led 21-0 by the end of the first quarter, using a 95-yard fumble return for a touchdown from Lonnie Sharpe with seconds remaining in the quarter.
Centennial drove deep into Arbor View territory with the help of a few penalties. But a bad snap gave Arbor View a game-changing play.
Instead of only leading by one touchdown, the Aggies blew the game wide open.
“We had the scheme. The kids went out and executed the scheme, and left it on the field,” Barnson said.
Arbor View produced more than 300 yards rushing out of its wing-T formation. Defensively, it limited Centennial to around 100 total yards — most of which came against the Arbor View reserves.
Herman Gray led Arbor View with 121 rushing yards on 18 carries, including 9-yard touchdown run with 9:14 to play before halftime.
“It really sets the tone — 35-7, it is looking good this year,” Gray said.
Arbor View’s second half touchdown came late in the third quarter when Bishop Jones forced a fumble while sacking Centennial quarterback Kyle Carden in the endzone. Gage Modl grabbed the fumble for the second Arbor View defensive touchdown.
Centennial, which was shut out of its season opener, scored late on Coll Thomson’s touchdown pass to Lantz Worthington. Worthington caught three passes for 51 yards.
Last year, Arbor View was knocked out of the Sunset semifinals by Centennial, 14-9.
If Thursday was any indication, the Aggies’ season might extend deeper into the postseason this fall.
“We haven’t changed much. We go after it just like we always do,” Barnson said.