For the third time at home this season Pahranagat Valley scored on their first play of the game.
It happened last week in the game with Beatty. After stopping the Hornets on downs in the first series, the Panthers took over the ball at the 31-yard line.
Tabor Maxwell called an option play, and pitched the ball to Ike Taylor who slipped around the right end and down the sidelines for a 69-yard touchdown run. Following that, Maxwell completed 12 of 22 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 58 yards and a score Thursday to lead the Panthers to a 50-14 win over the visiting Hornets.
Christian Higbee had 10 carries for 166 yards, two TDs, and Taylor added 130 yards rushing and a TD on 15 carries for Pahranagat (9-0, 7-0 1A Southern), which led 28-8 at halftime.
Taylor, Cody Williams and Culen Highbe all had receiving TDs for the Panthers. Beatty fell to 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the 1A Southern League.
Coach Brett Hansen said, “Beatty is a tough team with some big kids on the line, and I think our execution needed to be good to move them around a little bit, but we were able to do that.”
The Panther defense, which has long been the team’s major strength, and the biggest help to their offense, kept the Hornets from sweeping around the ends. “Our DEs did good job,” Hansen said. “We talked to them at half because they were giving up too much ground, but we asked them to string it out better and keep them contained for the most part.”
Pahranagat had three long scoring plays in the game, a 33-yard pass to Taylor, and Higbee had a 47 and a 51-yard run.
Beatty scored their second TD with only 16 seconds remaining in the game. It was only the second time since 2008 that the Hornets have scored twice against Pahranagat.
The win, 102 in the current streak, marks the 16th consecutive year PVHS has won the league title going into the playoffs, and they have gone on to win the state title the last eight years in a row.
In the playoffs this week on Friday, Pahranagat will host Tonopah (6-3) and Beatty goes to Spring Mountain (6-2).
In the Northern Division, Wells (6-4) goes to Whittell (8-1) and Virginia City (9-0) hosts Eureka (5-3).
NIAA playoff admission prices will apply.