As noted in MaxPreps.com last week, No. 4 Allen (Texas) was no match for No. 25 Westlake (Austin, Texas) in the 6A-I semifinals at Waco ISD Stadium in a 23-17 loss.
And that loss ended the nation’s third-longest active win streak, 57, behind Pahranagat Valley (Alamo, Nev.) at 93 and Edgewood Academy (Elmore, Ala.) at 71. Since Pahranagat Valley is an 8-man program, Allen’s streak was No. 2 among 11-man programs.
Pahranagat Valley coach Ken Higbee says the team never focuses on the win streak. It’s not a priority at all. Enjoyable, yes, but not the point.
The fans like it though, and it has created a deep sense of pride for the community, the county, and the many who have played for the Panthers, in recent years or past. A great honor and memory for such a small town as Alamo to be in the National Federation of High School Record book, not only for this feat, but also for the highest single game score in an 8-man game, the 128-74 win over Coleville in the state semi-finals in 2008.
That was actually win number 11 in the streak these past eight years that is now No. 3 all-time in any classification.
Most of the games in Pahranagat’s streak have been fairly widespread affairs, often league games against lower division teams, but there have been a few that stand out as memorable.
Actually, the championship game of 2008 against defending champion Tonopah was a 22-18 thriller, in fact the lowest of all the scores in the streak. PVHS didn’t seal the win until Brady Whipple jumped high for a Taylor Poulsen touchdown pass over a shorter Tonopah defender.
Two other games that stand out also were the games with Joshua Springs, Calif. The first one, played in Alamo Sept. 17, 2010, went to overtime, the last overtime game the Panthers have played. Joshua Springs led with about four minutes to play. The Panthers had to drive most of the length of the field and with 1:19 left, Cody Hosier connected with Kale Leavitt on a 33-yard scoring pass to tie the game. Joshua Springs then elected to let the game go to overtime.
Pahranagat had the ball first, and Hosier hit Kade Wadsworth with a touchdown pass on the first play. Then the Panthers held the Lightning on three downs, and Chase Hansen intercepted a Lightning pass in the end zone for the win.
The next year, at Joshua Springs, was another thriller. Trailing 36-14 going into the fourth quarter, quarterback Austin Poulsen engineered five touchdowns for a come-from-behind 50-42 win.
The closet scare in the current streak was just this past year, in September at Thacher Academy in Ojai, California. Alamo was nursing a late 34-30 lead, but Thacher was driving after getting a touchback in the end zone with 2:33 left. They managed to work the ball to the Alamo 25-yard line. There the Panthers stiffened their defense, batted down a pass into the end zone and left Thacher with one more chance, fourth and 12, with 11 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Coach Jeff Hooper elected to try a double reverse, which had worked effectively at other times in the game. But the Panthers boys were ready for just such a play, and Mateo Linares and company stopped the runner for only a five-yard gain and took the ball over on downs with only four seconds left.
The streak will end someday, everybody knows that. But is it not a delight to the heart and mind at present and we have until next fall to enjoy it. Then we’ll see what happens.