Moapa Valley defense sparks opening win at Cheyenne

Justin Hughes and Jared Repp scored second-half touchdowns, and Moapa Valley’s defense bottled up Cheyenne as the visiting Pirates grinded out a 19-0 victory on Thursday in the season opener for both teams.

Hughes finished with 65 yards on eight carries, including an 11-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter. Repp added 59 yards, including a sparkling 35-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the second half that gave the Pirates a 13-0 lead.

The Desert Shields had 35 yards of total offense, including 5 yards rushing. Cheyenne’s longest play was an 11-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Anthony McConnico to Darrion Hammond in the third quarter.

McConnico finished 4-for-19 for 30 yards and also threw two interceptions.

Moapa Valley was held to 33 yards rushing in the first half and led only 7-0 at the break. But the Pirates established their ground game in the second half and wore down Cheyenne.

Repp capped a five-play drive with his touchdown run with 9:41 left in the third. Hughes intercepted McConnico on the next possession. Six plays later, Hughes scored to put Moapa Valley up 19-0.

Cheyenne’s best chance to break the shutout came late in the third quarter as Brice Babcock recovered a fumble at the Pirates’ 18-yard line. The Desert Shields moved to the Pirates’ 13 before turning over the ball on downs.

Zach Hymas completed 13 of 24 passes for 155 yards and an interception for the Pirates. Hymas opened the scoring as his 10-yard keeper with 4:10 left in the first quarter gave Moapa Valley a 7-0 lead.

Contact reporter David Schoen at or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.