Moapa Valley senior R.J. Hubert scored his first touchdown on an 83-yard kick return early in the first quarter Friday night.
He was only getting started.
Hubert went on to score four more times, carrying the defending Division I-A state-champion Pirates to a 35-21 victory over host Sierra Vista.
“If not for him, we don’t even get in the end zone,” Moapa Valley coach Brent Lewis said of Hubert. “I don’t think we win.”
Lewis may have been right, as Hubert had an answer each time the Mountain Lions gained momentum.
When Sierra Vista grabbed an early 7-0 lead on a 19-yard pass from Oscar Aliaga to Chevy Eliu, Hubert returned the ensuing kick for a TD to tie it up. He finished the night with two TDs on special teams, two on passes from Nate Cox, and one on a late run. He also had two scores negated by penalties.
Despite Hubert’s heroics, Lewis said he was disappointed with his team’s play.
“We played poorly at the line of scrimmage,” he said. “We got a win, but we’ve got to get a lot better if we want to do anything this season.”
The latter half of the first quarter and all of the third belonged to the Pirates, who took a 21-7 lead into halftime with the help of two TD passes from Cox to Hubert.
“We did a couple things right in the first and second quarter,” Lewis said. “We big-played them and got a couple of breaks.”
Moapa’s next big play came when Hubert returned a Sierra Vista fumble 76 yards for another TD in the third.
But the Lions rallied, scoring TDs on a 10-yard pass from Aliaga to Lopaka Kolone and a 3-yard plunge by Aliaga to cut the deficit to 28-21 with 5:01 remaining. But a 32-yard, third-down reception by Hubert in heavy traffic extended the Pirates’ next drive. Hubert scored the back-breaker on a 38-yard sprint on the next play.
Cox completed six of 13 passes to help Moapa Valley.
Daniel Godfrey led Sierra Vista, collecting 114 yards on 28 carries.
Centennial 27, Legacy 26 — At Legacy, Centennial quarterback Jamaal Evans completed 15 of 24 passes for 221 yards, including a 46-yard scoring strike to Savon Scarver, as the Bulldogs rallied from an early 13-0 deficit to edge the Longhorns.
Legacy quarterback Tanoa Alapati connected with Lucas Krause on a 16-yard touchdown pass with 1:12 remaining in the fourth quarter to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 27-26. However, the Longhorns missed the extra point.
Legacy (0-1) took an early 6-0 lead when Alapati connected with Jamaal Britt on a 27-yard scoring strike. The Longhorns extended their lead to 13-0 early in the second quarter on running back Naim Geeslin’s 36-yard TD run.
However, the Bulldogs scored 27 straight points on Scarver’s score, two short touchdown runs by Demetrius Goodman and two field goals by Juan Puentes to take a 27-13 lead midway through the third quarter.
But just when it appeared the Bulldogs were about to take control of the game, Legacy’s defense stepped up and forced a punt. One play later, Geeslin broke free for a 72-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 27-20.
Spring Valley 36, Bonanza 28 — At Bonanza, K.C. Moore hit Antony Vazquez on a 73-yard pass play with 3:10 remaining as the Grizzlies won the Banner Game for the second-straight season.
The Bengals had one final chance, but Bonanza quarterback Wyatt Allison threw four straight incompletions, and Spring Valley ran out the clock.
Raheem Edwards rushed for 93 yards and three touchdowns for the Grizzlies, who had 171 yards on the ground. Moore also threw for 197 yards. Vazquez caught six passes for 106 yards for Spring Valley.
Bonanza, which suffered its 15th straight defeat, got 182 yards and two scores from Allison — both to RJ McCarter. McCarter caught six passes for 103 yards for the Bengals.
DeShawn Williams had 48 of the Bengals’ 69 rushing yards, and scored once.
Neither team punted in the game, but they combined to rack up 25 penalties for 177 yards.
Charter Oak (Calif.) 42, Green Valley 21 — At Green Valley, Zion Echols scored five touchdowns to lead the Chargers to a runaway victory over the host Gators.
Echols, who finished with 143 rushing yards on just 12 carries, had scoring runs of 20, 55, 42 and 2 yards. He also opened the game with a 90-yard kickoff return.
Austin Warhop led Green Valley with 19 carries for 111 yards, and Nahzi Salih added 93 rushing yards for the Gators.
Green Valley used three quarterbacks in the game, and each threw a touchdown pass.
A.J. Barilla connected with Warhop on a 7-yard TD pass right before halftime to trim the Charger lead to 28-14.
But in the third quarter Kamden Brown threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Brian Casteel, and Echols followed with his 2-yard TD run to push the lead to 42-14.
Clark 21, Boulder City 9 — At Clark, Milan Dixon rushed for 246 yards and three touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter to rally the Chargers (1-0) past the Eagles (0-1).
Dixon broke a 79-yard TD run to give Clark a 14-9 lead early in the quarter, then added an 11-yard score with 55 seconds remaining.
Dixon supplied a 10-yard score to cap a 10-play, 70-yard drive that gave the Chargers an early 6-0 lead.
Boulder City got a safety on a high snap by Clark that sailed out of the back of the end zone in the second quarter, which made it 6-2 at halftime.
Michael Morgan had a 4-yard TD run to put Boulder City on top 9-6 on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Nick Kinnard totaled 142 yards of offense and had a 2-point run for the Chargers, who got 75 yards receiving from Aquantay Morris.
Senior defensive end Jacob Gneiting contributed seven tackles and four sacks for Boulder City.
Mojave 25, Chaparral 0 — At Chaparral, defensive end Alex Carvalho registered two sacks, an interception and a 38-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown as the visiting Rattlers shut out the Cowboys (0-1).
Carvalho poked away an option lateral, scooped up the ball without breaking stride and cruised into the end zone early in the second quarter to open the scoring for Mojave (1-0). The Cowboys had a chance to tie on the last play of the second quarter, but an incomplete pass in the end zone left the Rattlers with 6-0 lead at the half.
Mojave wasted little time finding the end zone after the break when quarterback Lamaja Cunningham went 37 yards for a score on the fourth play of the second half to give the Rattlers a 12-0 lead. Cunningham finished with a game-high 92 yards on 12 carries.
Elijah Smoot and Nick Kline each added fourth-quarter touchdown runs for the Rattlers, who finished with 300 yards on the ground.
Silverado 23, Shadow Ridge 14 — At Shadow Ridge, Keikiokalani Misipeka rushed for 150 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown, to lead the Skyhawks to a win in former UNLV and NFL star Randall Cunningham’s coaching debut.
Micah Weber completed 6 of 15 passes for 126 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown strike to ZaKee Washington for Silverado, which opened a 9-0 lead after Weber hit ZaKee Washington on a 70-yard broken play with 9:34 left in the first half. A high snap from the shotgun formation sent Weber scrambling, but after getting open in the flat, Washington caught the ball and darted down Shadow Ridge’s sideline for the score.
The Mustangs wasted no time in getting back into the game, as Malik Jackson took the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown, cutting the gap to 9-6.
After a Silverado penalty on the first play of the second half, the Skyhawks’ Andrew Pappas picked off Shadow Ridge quarterback Kassius Swain and rumbled 27 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 16-6.
Dominick Wilson led Shadow Ridge’s offensive attack with 67 yards rushing, on 15 attempts, and backup quarterback Winnie Springer threw a late touchdown to Jackson for 28 yards.
Desert Oasis 28, Durango 12 — At Desert Oasis, Tyshun McClinton rushed for 208 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries to give the Diamondbacks a season-opening win over the Trailblazers.
McClinton’s second score, a 3-yard rush, gave Desert Oasis a commanding 21-0 lead. However, an injury while on defense on the subsequent drive kept him out until the Diamondbacks’ next-to-last drive. He also scored from 43 yards to open the scoring in the second quarter.
Durango mounted a comeback, in the fourth with Leontre Austin taking a Jonathan Scofield screen pass 75 yards for a touchdown early in the quarter, followed by a 17-yard Scofield pass to Isaiah Johnson.
McClinton then returned on the following drive, converting a key third down and rushing for 19 more yards before Marquise Smalls, who handled the workload rushing for Desert Oasis with McClinton sidelined, scored on a 36-yard run with 3:21 left. A late interception sealed the game.
Smalls finished with 107 yards and two scores on 17 carries.
Sunrise Mountain 54, Western 6 — At Western, quarterback Stephen Wright ran for 141 yards and three first-half touchdowns and threw for 49 yards and a score as the Miners routed the Warriors.
Trayvon Ward rushed for 84 yards and three touchdowns, and Claude Moore ran for 162 yards and a score for the Miners.
Wright started the scoring for The Miners when he ran 67 yards for a TD with 6:17 left in in the first quarter. and kept it going by running for two more touchdowns in the second quarter to give the Miners a 20-0 lead. He tossed an 18-yard scoring pas to Daltyn Pytrysson early in the second half.
Bishop Harris’ 3-yard run midway through the second quarter accounted for all of Western’s scoring.
Pahrump Valley 21, Del Sol 0 — At Del Sol, Parker Hart and Daniel Kinkade each scored a first-quarter touchdown to help the Trojans down the Dragons.
Hart caught a 36-yard TD pass from T.J. Milk with 8:58 to go in the first quarter, and Kinkade added a 1-yard scoring run at the 2:38 mark to push the lead to 14-0.
Milk completed 5 of 9 passes for 136 yards and added a 7-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
Taariq Flowers rushed for 144 yards on nine carries to lead Del Sol.
Yuma Catholic (Ariz.) 48, Faith Lutheran 34 — At Faith Lutheran, the Shamrocks outscored the Crusaders 21-8 in the fourth quarter to earn the victory.
Faith Lutheran trailed all night, but seemed set to tie the game at 26 late in the third when a muffed PAT left the Shamrocks in the lead at 27-26.
Yuma Catholic went on to dominate the fourth quarter, scoring immediately to end a 65-yard drive that began in the third quarter, then forcing a Faith Lutheran fumble on what looked like it was going to be a scoring play.
The Shamrocks then scored two more TDs to pull away.
Yuma Catholic had 522 yards of total offense. Jalen Barnes rushed for 145 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries and also had a receiving touchdown. Brandon Hunter had 103 receiving yards for the Shamrocks.
Yuma Catholic was quarterbacked by former Bishop Gorman player Stetson Stallworth, who had 15 completions for 259 yards.
Faith Lutheran stayed in the game by twice picking off Stallworth and forcing two fumbles. Crusaders sophomore John Thomson had a forced fumble and an interception.
Christian Marshall led the Crusaders on offense, rushing for 200 yards on 19 carries. Quarterback Brenden Joyce rushed for 99 yards and passed for 127 yards, and Elijah Kothe caught six passes for 86 yards for Faith Lutheran.
Joshua Springs (Calif.) 58, Spring Mountain 18 — At Spring Mountain, senior quarterback Diquan Spiller tossed three touchdown passes, but the Golden Eagles fell to the Lightning.
Devan Taylor had two receiving scores for Spring Mountain.
Cedar (Utah) 41, Virgin Valley 7 — At Cedar City, Utah, the Redmen stormed out to a 27-0 halftime lead before downing the Bulldogs.
Tony Urias scored on a 10-yard quarterback keeper in the fourth quarter for Virgin Valley’s lone touchdown.
Needles 60, Odyssey Institute (Ariz.) 20 — At Flagstaff, Ariz., Trenton Poe-Evans finished with five touchdowns to lead the Mustangs past Odyssey Institute.
Poe-Evans had four rushing TDs and recovered a fumble in the end zone for Needles, which led 28-14 at halftime.
Derek Wagstaff added two rushing scores for Needles.
Tonopah 55, Sierra Lutheran 26 — At Tonopah, Tanner Otteson threw for 133 yards and three touchdowns to help the Muckers down the Falcons.
Scotty May had 11 carries for 149 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a receiving score for Tonopah, which led 48-0 at halftime.
Wooster 43, The Meadows 0 — At Wooster, Abraham Medina had eight carries for 49 yards and two TDs to lead the Colts by the Mustangs.
Jack Berkley was 6 of 12 for 28 yards and had 24 yards rushing for The Meadows, which trailed 28-0 at halftime.
Eureka 54, Sandy Valley 30 — At Sandy Valley, Logan Shelton and Alexis Fajardo each scored two rushing touchdowns in the Sidewinders’ loss to the Vandals.
Eureka only led 32-30 after three quarters, but scored 22 unanswered points in the fourth to take control.