In just his first four games, freshman quarterback Tabor Maxwell has thrown for 1003 yards and 16 touchdowns. He is 56 for 88 passing

The referee in the Panthers game against Beatty explains to PVHS assistant coach Brian Higbee and quarterback Tabor Maxwell that the call on the field stands. Pahranagat Valley (4-0) went on to get the 58-14 win. (Dave Maxwell photo)

In just his first four games, freshman quarterback Tabor Maxwell has thrown for 1003 yards and 16 touchdowns. He is 56 for 88 passing (.636 percent) in leading the Pahranagat Valley Panthers, the five-time defending NIAA Division IV state champs, to a 4-0 record.

He is second in Southern Nevada for passing efficiency, behind Christian Lopez of Green Valley with 1,136 yards (.654 percent) and 11 TDs.

In last week’s opening league game, Maxwell threw for 297 yards (17 of 24) and  touchdowns to four different receivers in a 58-14 win at Beatty.

Maxwell attributes his present success to the upfront work of his offensive line and the protection given. “I’ve been playing quarterback for a long time, (in youth football), and know what I’m doing, and the offensive line (Jake Carter, Utah Ray, Mateo Linares, and Paden Higbee) are doing a good job giving me a good pocket so I can step up and throw to the receivers.”

At Beatty, Wade Leavitt added 121 yards rushing, 89 yards receiving and three TD’s for PVHS, which has won 61 straight and inherited the longest winning streak in the nation after 11-man Clairton (Pa.) had their 66-game win streak snapped Sept. 20.

Shawn Wadsworth had four catches for 88 yards and a score for the Panthers. Jeremy Minick and Christian Higbee also had receiving touchdowns, while Caleb Hansen (55 yards) and Jordan Cryts (12 yards rushing and 62 yards receiving) each ran for a TD.

Alamo jumped out to a quick 22-0 lead on the Hornets, including a 99-yard scoring drive in the second quarter, highlighted by Maxwell’s 56-yard pass to Cryts, who went out at the 10-yard line.

Luis Flores came right back for Beatty (1-1, 1-1) with a 43-yard drive and a touchdown pass to Jacob Oseguera to trail 22-8, but the Panthers answered immediately on a three-play drive capped by a 40-yard screen pass from Maxwell to Wadsworth with just over a minute left in the half.

Leavitt, a junior, added a 63-yard yard touchdown run in the third quarter when he filled in for Maxwell and ran a quarterback keeper.

Maxwell and Leavitt have become a dynamic combination for the Panthers early in the season. Leavitt leads all receivers in Southern Nevada with 19 catches, 428 yards, and five touchdowns.

“He gets open a lot and I feel comfortable throwing to him,” Maxwell said. It brings up memories for Panther fans of the work of Cody Hosier to Kale Leavitt (Wade’s older brother) in 2010.

To date, Maxwell has also thrown to Jeremy Minick, 14 times, 176 yards and five touchdowns, Shawn Wadsworth nine times, 202 yards and two touchdowns, and Jordon Cryts four times, 104 yards,  and one touchdown.

Leavitt also recorded five solo tackles and two assists in the game with Beatty.

Three of the Panthers next five games before the playoffs are at home, beginning this week with a possible stiff challenge from visiting Spring Mountain, the team they beat last fall for the state championship.

Spring Mountain (1-0) opened their season last week with a strong 64-56 win over the visiting Joshua Springs (Calif.) Lightning, the four-time defending CIF Southern Section 8-man state champs.