Pahranagat Valley High football fans have grown accustomed to seeing Tabor Maxwell throwing the long ball for touchdowns in his first two varsity seasons. He did it twice in the first four minutes in the game at Wells last week, the season opener for both teams.
In leading the Panthers to a 62-20 win, Maxwell connected with David Ingram for an 82-yard touchdown on the second play of the game, and Ingram outran two defenders the last 62 yards. Then three-and-half minutes later, he hooked up with his favorite receiver, Shawn Wadsworth, for a 65-yard touchdown.
All in all, PVHS (1-0) scored on their first six possessions of the first half, jumping quickly right off the page for a 22-0 first quarter lead, and extending it to 42-0 before Wells could score, leaving the halftime score 42-6.
Alamo’s second unit played much of the third and all of the fourth quarter, and showed themselves well scoring 20 points of their own. All totaled, the Panthers racked up 556 yards on the ground and in the air.
“We expect our kids to execute,” said coach Ken Higbee, “and we’ll get better as the season goes on.”
Maxwell threw five touchdown passes, 274 yards (9 for 20), including two to Ingram, and he also ran the ball five times for 43 yards.
Christian Higbee scored three touchdowns on the ground, rushing for 118 yards on 14 carries, the most in his career. His previous high was 68 yards against Round Mountain in 2013. He also caught a touchdown pass against the Leopards.
Wells was without their star quarterback/running back from last year, senior Wyatt Gibbs, who transferred to Eureka during the summer.
Coach Steve Rodriguez said, “Wyatt is going to be really hard for us to replace. He did a lot of things well (10 passing touchdowns and 18 rushing scores from the 2014 season). We are in the process of finding out who will play quarterback. I may even go with a freshman,” which he did part of the time with Zane Rodriguez.
Wadsworth caught four passes for 84 yards for PVHS. Ingram had two receptions for 147 yards.
Higbee led the team on defense with six tackles, while Daved Wilson, Channer Hollingshead, Cody Stirling and Cody Williams had four each. Stirling also had two pass interceptions.
PVHS is off this week, preparing for a trip to Ojai (O-hi), Calif., about 20 miles north of Ventura, for a 4 p.m. game Sept. 11 against the Thacher Academy Toads.
Ken Maxwell expects to have the play-by-play, audio only, on the website www.lctsys.com.
Thacher (12-1) was the runner-up in California Division I eight-man football last year. The meeting with Pahranagat is Thacher’s first game of the 2015 season.
The town of Ojai, with a 2014 estimated population of about 8,000 has two other schools with 8-man teams, Villanova Prep, which plays in the same Condor 8-man league as does Thacher, and Ojai Valley which is in the 8-man Freelance league, as well as the public school, Nordhoff High, which plays play 11-man football.
Some notable film and stage stars who have lived in Ojai over the years include comedian Bud Abbott, actresses June Alyson, Oscar winners Loretta Young, Julie Christie, Mary Steenburgen; actors Ted Danson, Rory Calhoun, Bill Paxton, Larry Hagman, and Oscar winners Anthony Quinn, and Sir Anthony Hopkins, plus famed movie and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and numerous others.
Noted TV actor Noah Wyle (ER) attended Thacher Academy, as did Oscar winning film composer James Newton Howard (Titanic), and playwright Thornton Wilder (Our Town). Another former alumnus was famed aviation pioneer Howard Hughes.