KamBrenn Heatley touched the ball once Thursday night.
The Palo Verde senior made the most of it.
Heatley returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown after Arbor View's only touchdown to help the second-ranked Panthers gain a 14-7 home victory over the Aggies in the Northwest League opener for both teams.
"He's special," Palo Verde coach Darwin Rost said of Heatley, who played for Desert Oasis last year. "He's run the ball hard ever since he stepped on our campus."
Arbor View had taken a 7-0 lead on a 5-yard run by Donnie Gaskin with 10:25 left in the first half. The TD was set up by a 63-yard run by Roderick Eason, and the Aggies appeared to have the momentum.
It didn't last, nor did Arbor View's lead.
Heatley fielded the ensuing kickoff at the 3 and streaked down the right sideline, breaking a tackle inside the 10 and squirting into the end zone.
Heatley's special teams play was all the more important on a night Palo Verde was outgained 224-94. The Panthers (2-0) didn't get a first down in the second half and were held to minus-4 yards after halftime.
"You can't give up big plays and turnovers," Arbor View coach Dan Barnson said. "Our defense kept us in it. They played tremendous."
Arbor View's defense consistently bottled up Palo Verde, allowing only one big play from scrimmage. That came when Lee Griggs took a shotgun snap, kept the ball and ran 38 yards, diving across the goal line for the go-ahead touchdown. Tom Randall's second extra point made it 14-7 with 2:23 left in the first half.
The Aggies (1-1) had chances in the second half, but shot themselves in the foot with three turnovers. Palo Verde's Jared Lucero recovered two fumbles, but the Panthers couldn't take advantage despite favorable field position.
Arbor View's last opportunity came when they took possession at their 45 with 3:16 left. The Aggies drove to the Palo Verde 23, but consecutive sacks by Palo Verde's Eric South and Joshua Symonette set up fourth-and-25 from the 38, and Henry Hoffend's pass was incomplete with 9.4 seconds left.
Eason finished with 120 yards on 16 carries for Arbor View, which has never beaten Palo Verde. The Aggies were 9-0 last season before losing 17-0 to the Panthers on the final night of the regular season.
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at email@example.com or 702-380-4587.