It is often said teams win games with defense. Pahranagat Valley’s defense rose to the challenge in their non-league game with Wallis Annenberg High in downtown Los Angeles, Sept. 6.
Alamo got a quick touchdown, and a lack of communication on the ensuing kickoff return allowed Spencer Aranda to get Annenberg High on the scoreboard in the opening moments of the game.
But after that, Pahranagat put the defensive clamps on their California opponents and effectively shut them down, cruising to a 52-6 win.
It marked the first time Alamo had ever played a team from Los Angeles, and was played at Santee High, on a field in the shadows of the skyscrapers of the downtown financial district, and not far either from the famous Staples Center, where the NBA L.A. Lakers and Clippers play.
While the Alamo offense was running up 373 total yards, moving the ball almost at will, the Panther defense never allowed Annenberg to threaten again, nor even get into the red zone.
Freshman quarterback Tabor Maxwell threw five touchdown passes and ran for another score as PVHS recorded their 59th consecutive win since 2007.
Maxwell completed 11 of 17 passes for 141 yards and connected three times for scores with junior receiver Jeremy Minick who had 53 yards on four catches.
Wade Leavitt rushed for 61 yards on seven carries and caught three passes for 60 yards. Jordon Cryts also scored a rushing touchdown for Alamo. Caleb Hansen was credited with six tackles and had the only pass interception of the game.
Alamo took the opening kickoff and moved quickly downfield, highlighted by a Maxwell-to-Leavitt 47-yard pass. But Annenberg scored on the ensuing kickoff return. However, that would be the best they could do, as they never threatened thereafter.
Coach Charles Burnley said his Annenberg team was a young, inexperienced team, with some boys who had never played football before. “We had a real big problems trying to run the ball. Every time we tried to do something, they stopped us. We’ve got a lot of green guys on the offensive line and could not throw the ball very well.”
Pahranagat Valley middle linebacker Jake Carter said, “We kept getting pressure on their quarterback. Their guys weren’t blocking at all and we kept at them. Our defensive ends also did really well.”
Carter had four tackles and at least one quarterback sack.
PVHS coach Ken Higbee gave credit to a total team effort. “It’s what we saw in film and scouting reports on them. We felt we could run and throw the football. The kids are executing. That’s what’s it’s all about, the kids just taking their spot in the program, moving in and doing what we ask every play. When the kids do what we ask, everybody doing their job, we can be pretty scary, and I’m expecting we will continue to improve.”
The Panthers (2-0) next game is Sept. 13 at Virginia City. The Muckers and Panthers have never played in football. Virginia City (1-1) lost their last game 34-33 at Carlin when they failed on the conversion try on the final play of the game.