There can be little doubt that last year’s game in Ojai, California against the Thacher Toads was one of the closest, and most thrilling games for Pahranagat Valley in their long sting of what now are 94 straight wins.
It was a downright “nailbitin, closer than hair-on-a-hog” affair, that went down to the final four seconds. Thacher had a fourth-and-12 from the Panther 25-yard line with 12 seconds remaining. It really was a fifth-and-12 because the guys on the chain gang forgot to change the downs marker on one play that series, but the officials let it pass. However, the Panther defense stopped the run play and took over on downs to preserve a 34-30 win.
Tomorrow night at 7 p.m. the teams meet again in Alamo in this special home-and-home series.
The game is on Saturday because school rules for Thacher, a private, co-ed boarding school, require players cannot miss school on Friday. So they had to leave late Friday afternoon and made a stay over in Las Vegas.
In last year’s game, Pahranagat had 436 total yards, a little under their season average of 458.3 total yards per game. Thacher averaged 313.5 yards per game for the season, but did not report stats for the Pahranagat game.
Seniors Laurence Jackson, No. 32, and Zion Alcindor, No. 33, are expected to be the mainstays in Thacher’s mostly ground oriented offense. The Toads were 6-4 last season, but were the Southern California 8-man Division I state runner-up in 2014 going 12-1.
Pahranagat has played two California teams in Alamo since 2001, Coleville and Joshua Springs, and both have been memorable.
The first was the 128-74 state semi-final win over Coleville in 2008, which still is the national record for the highest single game score by one team in 8-man football as listed by the National Federation of State High School Associations. And the second, the thrilling 28-20 overtime win against Joshua Springs in 2010. It remains the only overtime game PVHS has played this century.
In other league games this week, Beaver Dam plays at Indian Springs and Beatty hosts Lone Pine, CA.