May 24, 2016 - 11:45 pm
Moapa Valley flag football coach Brent May lost a courageous battle with cancer in February.
But that didn’t stop a couple of his top players from shining for him one last time Tuesday night in the Division I-A all-star game at Clark High.
With the game tied 12-all, Boulder City’s Jeanne Carmell hit a streaking Alexis Schraft down the left sideline for a 60-yard, catch-and-run touchdown to lift the Sunrise all-stars to an 18-12 victory.
“When I scored that touchdown it was such a big relief, because I know the team wanted it, all the girls were getting pumped up,” said Schraft, from Moapa Valley. “It was just really nice to score it because coach May is in our hearts and he’s always going to be, so it was nice to win this game and end it on a good note.”
Carmell completed 9 of 19 pass attempts for 154 yards, and Schraft caught four passes for 85 yards.
Earlier in the second half, Moapa Valley’s Hattie Gordon tied the game at 12, when she snagged her only reception of the game, a 15-yard TD strike from Carmell with 15:52 left in the contest.
“It all just felt like it was meant to be,” said an emotional Gordon. “I showed up here thinking I have to be here for coach May, make him proud. And him being the one who taught me to catch, I feel like I did.”
May, a Moapa Valley alum, was in his second season as he continued to battle his illness. He led the Pirates to their best record since the sport’s inception. After the game, May’s wife Amy accepted his CCSD Coach of the Year award.
“Moapa is our biggest rival, and the fact the Moapa girls came up here, they showed up to every single practice, it was just great we were all able to honor coach May that way,” Sunrise and Boulder City coach Chris Morelli said. “(Alexis) fit in as soon as she showed up. (She) and Jeanne just connected at practices. But all the Moapa girls are great athletes.”
On the defensive side, Chaparral’s Neshaune Franklin turned out to be the biggest star for the team, as she walked away with the Sunrise MVP trophy after registering 10 tackles, including three sacks.
“It felt good to be recognized as a good player,” said Franklin, who also plays soccer and runs track for the Cowboys. “We took this game serious, we treated it as if it were a real game. It almost felt like a state game for all the players who deserved to be here.”
Leading the Sunset was Cheyenne quarterback Liliana Cadacio, who completed 6 of 12 pass attempts for 64 yards, while rushing for 16 yards and one TD. Cheyenne’s Angela Hammond, who was the Sunrise Offensive Player of the Year, rushed for 34 yards on seven attempts. Spring Valley’s Jozee Decunzo caught two passes for 38 yards and was named the Sunset MVP.
Sunrise 12, Sunset 7 — Green Valley’s Carolina Velasquez hauled in a 39-yard touchdown pass from Foothill quarterback Jadyn McArthur with 8:24 left in the game, putting the Sunrise ahead for good in the Division I all-star game. The Sunrise then got a staunch effort from its defensive all-stars on the Sunset’s next possession.
After the Desert Oasis-tandem of Kylee Bauer and Izriah Hodson hooked up for a 5-yard reception, Bauer was sacked by Green Valley’s Carli Perkins. On the next play, seeing a mismatch in height, Bauer looked downfield for a couple of receivers in a pack, but Foothill’s diminutive Sayonna Thunstrom jumped high to tip the ball to herself, and snatched the interception as she fell to the turf with what arguably was the play of the game. From there, the Sunrise offense used a steady dose of its rushing attack to eat up the remaining four minutes.
Eldorado’s Mohn’Ai Roberson was unstoppable on the ground, as she finished with 134 rushes on 19 carries. McArthur completed 10 of 15 passes for 90 yards and one touchdown, and she rushed for 71 yards on 16 carries and another score.
Legacy’s Sabrina Farrow was named Sunset MVP, while Foothill’s Taeondra Johnson took home the Sunrise MVP trophy.