It’s homecoming for Pahranagat Valley this week. A full week of activities has preceded the game tonight between the Panthers (5-0, 3-0) and strong league contender Tonopah (5-0, 3-0), including the always popular pep rally and bonfire last night. The Panthers return home after being on the road the last three weeks.
The Muckers have been boasting for the better part of a month on Facebook and other social media of the beating they are going to give PVHS.
It is the first time in recent memory that two unbeaten teams will meet for the homecoming matchup in Alamo. Beatty is also unbeaten this season, but have yet to play Spring Mountain, Tonopah or Pahranagat.
“Tonopah runs an offense with a lot of motion and fakes and wings going everywhere. Our defense will need to be ready for all of that,” said coach Brett Hansen. “Definitely a game we’ll have to be disciplined for on the defensive side and trust our reads.”
Senior quarterback Tanner Otteson leads the Muckers with 687 yards passing, 11 touchdowns, as well as rushing for 597 yards and six touchdowns. Teammate Kade Bunker has 520 yards rushing and nine touchdowns.
Christian Higbee leads PVHS on the ground with 492 yards and four touchdowns. He also has three receiving touchdowns.
Panther QB Tabor Maxwell has thrown for 742 yards and 11 touchdowns and run for 223 yards and three touchdowns.
Regardless of what happens in this game, the Muckers do face a stiff challenge not only this week, but next week as well, as they have to travel to Spring Mountain for a game with the always tough Golden Eagles.
Last week’s game at Beaver Dam was over quickly with the Panthers taking a 38-0 lead at halftime and routing the Diamondbacks 68-0.
Coaches took out the starters even before halftime as backup quarterback Preston Higbee had a 50-yard touchdown pass to his cousin Christian Higbee at 5:38 of the second quarter. Christian had six carries for 117 yards and was joined by five other players, Maxwell, Ike Taylor, David Ingram, Hunter Hollingshead and Tyler Bundy each with a rushing TD.
“We spread the ball around pretty good and a lot of the younger kids got to play,” said Hansen. “We definitely wanted to establish the run.” The Panthers had 311 yards on 31 carries.
By the second half the substitutes played the rest of the game. “The game was out of reach for Beaver Dam,” Hansen said, “and we wanted to get our young kids some playing time and experience. They work hard in practice every day.”
Stockton Maxwell recorded five tackles. Kyler Martin and Hagen Huntsman added four each.