At the beginning of practice in mid-August, Pahranagat Valley coaches thought they might experiment with having junior quarterback Tabor Maxwell run the ball some this season as well as pass it.
Over the years, the Panthers have had some pretty good dual-threat quarterbacks, Kobe Wade, Taylor Poulsen, his brother Austin and now Maxwell.
Not only did Maxwell throw five touchdown passes and run for two more leading PVHS to a 64-6 road win at Tonopah last Friday to open league play, he also had 94 yards rushing on 16 carries. He finished 11 of 26 for 243 yards passing for Pahranagat (3-0, 1-0 Division IV Southern), which led 36-6 at halftime.
Maxwell might have had a third rushing touchdown but was stopped on fourth-and-1 on a goal line stand by the Muckers as the first half ended. In all, Maxwell accounted for 337 yards.
In three games this season, he is now 36 for 68 (52.9%), 782 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception, and 180 yards rushing on 36 carries.
Shawn Wadsworth had seven receptions for 166 yards and three TDs, one for 60 yards, and another for 40 yards. He is now second among receivers in southern Nevada with 381 yards on 17 catches, and six touchdowns, most in southern Nevada. He set a school record last season with 60 receptions for 1,069 yards.
Christian Higbee caught two touchdown passes against the Muckers for 20 and 30 yards.
The play that worked quite well for Maxwell was the quarterback sweep, which the Panthers used often. Coach Ken Higbee said, “They (Tonopah) put eight guys on the line and really overloaded us, and when we ran we had one person unaccounted for every time we ran the ball, but when you run the quarterback, then you have everybody blocked.”
The Muckers (2-1, 0-1) took themselves out of the game numerous times with penalties, one that even called back a long scoring run by Scott May. The Panther defense held him to just 28 yards on seven carries, far below the 169-yard average he had coming into the game. His 22-yard run in the second quarter accounted for Tonopah’s only score.
Tonopah quarterback Tanner Otteson was 10 for 19 passing, 97 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.
This week, Pahranagat plays their first home game of the season, facing co-league leader Beaver Dam Friday at 7 p.m. The Diamondbacks (3-0, 1-0), have two wins over Indian Springs and one over Fredonia, Arizona.
Last year, the Panthers crushed the Diamondbacks, 98-40, Alamo’s second highest single game score in school history.