weather icon Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Jaguars beat Desert Shields, set up showdown with Faith Lutheran

Last season, Desert Pines opened up a 20-6 lead over Faith Lutheran in the Division I-A football playoffs, but couldn’t sustain the lead and eventually lost in overtime.

Thanks to Thursday’s 34-20 victory over visiting Cheyenne in this year’s opening round, Desert Pines will have a shot at revenge against defending state champions. The Jaguars (9-1) will play at Faith Lutheran (7-3) next Friday.

“They had the ball last and they beat us last season,” Desert Pines coach Tico Rodriguez said of Faith Lutheran. “The kids are really excited to get an opportunity to play them again. That’s going to be a big game for us. Faith Lutheran is an excellent program. We’ll prepare hard this week and be ready for the challenge.”

Rodriguez is hoping his Jaguars will be a little more prepared than they were for the never-give-up Desert Shields (4-6) on Thursday, as the Jaguars overcame three fumbles and silly mistakes before finally putting the game away late when sophomore Isaiah Morris plowed in from 4 yards out with 4:28 remaining.

Morris finished with 157 yards on 20 carries.

And while it was Morris’ athleticism and finesse that picked up big yardage, Trevor Nofoa’s blue-collar work out of the backfield proved invaluable, as the junior power back rumbled for 69 yards on seven attempts and two touchdowns.

Deeshon Newsome’s snagged two fourth-quarter interceptions to stifle Cheyenne, and help swing the momentum late.

“The last couple of series our defensive energy picked up,” Rodriguez said. “We were able to stop (them). We just made the plays we had to, at the right time. We knew they were going to grind us, but the kids fought and played their hearts out.”

Jaguars quarterback Markell Grayson completed 7 of 15 passes for 84 yards and one TD, a 36-yard strike to Jon McCoy.

Deriontae Green rushed for 72 yards rushing and a TD on 15 carries to lead Cheyenne. David Walker ran for 64 yards on 13 carries for the Desert Shields, and quarterback Anthony McConnico completed 5 of 11 pass attempts for 122 yards and two scores.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.