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Clark plays lights out in win over Desert Oasis

In Friday’s Class 4A Southwest League opener, Clark defensive back Isaiah Veal grabbed three interceptions as the Chargers played lights-out defense while shutting out visiting Desert Oasis.

And then the lights went out literally.

A nearby power outage cut the lights at Collis Stadium with 4 minutes, 17 seconds left in the game, and the football coaches from both teams agreed to end the game with the Chargers winning, 36-0.

Veal, a junior, anchored the defense for Clark (2-1, 1-0 Southwest), which limited Desert Oasis (0-3, 0-1) to 118 yards of total offense — with only 28 coming after halftime.

“I was just doing what I regularly do,” said Veal, who has six interceptions to lead the Chargers this season. “As a defense, we all hustled to the ball as a team. We all just helped each other.”

Clark defensive end Alejandro Encinas also forced a turnover, as he stripped Desert Oasis running back Christian Vaugh of the ball, then rumbled 58 yards to the end zone to boost the Chargers lead to 22-0 with 1:15 left before the half.

Junior wideout Isaiah Bigby provided the offensive spark for Clark, grabbing five receptions for 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Leading just 8-0 late in the second quarter, the Chargers faced third-and-20 at the 46. Bigby made a difficult catch in traffic to get Clark the first down at the Diamondbacks’ 16 yard line.

On the next play, Veal made a one-handed catch off a dart thrown by quarterback Justin Aguilar in the end zone to give the Clark a 16-0 advantage with 3:06 left in the second quarter.

“Honestly, I thought the ball was farther away. I just put one hand up and it just fell there,” Bigby said.

Bigby later capped the scoring in the game by hauling in a 50-yard bomb from Jared Jenkins with 6:32 left in the fourth quarter.

“We ran the wheel. All the other receivers ran their routes perfectly, and the quarterback just threw a beautiful ball, and the rest is history,“ Bigby said. “Our offensive line is really good. And when they play well, all of our skill players are just able to do our thing. We just follow the scheme and it leads to a big-time offensive game.”

The win was the Chargers second in a row after they ended a nine-game losing streak that carried over from last season. But Bigby said the team was not going to get caught up in streaks.

“We aren’t going to really focus on the win streak. We are just going to take it one game at a time,” he said.

And as Bigby stood near the Clark locker room with the stadium still shrouded in darkness, he said he hadn’t experienced anything like the outage before.

“I guess we were ballin’ tonight, but this is crazy,” Bigby said.

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