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Pahranagat Valley to face Eureka for Class 1A state title

No school has won more football state championships in Nevada high school history than Pahranagat Valley.

The Panthers will get a chance to claim their 22nd at noon Saturday when they meet Eureka for the Class 1A title at Bishop Gorman High School.

Pahranagat Valley (9-1) and Eureka (6-0) were scheduled to play during the regular season, but that game was canceled because of COVID-19.

The Panthers have met Spring Mountain the past three times they’ve reached the title game. The last time Pahranagat Valley met a different opponent for the crown was 2015, a 54-28 win over Whittell that was its eighth straight state title.

“It’s a little different,” Pahranagat Valley coach Brett Hansen said. “We’ve usually been in league with Spring Mountain, so we have a little more familiarity there. We know (Eureka is) big and physical, and they have some speed in the backfield. They like power football and do a really good job with it.”

The Panthers beat Spring Mountain 28-14 for the 2019 title, and they won their three games in the spring with many of the same players on the current roster.

“We have 11 seniors out of 25 boys this year,” Hansen said. “They’ve been around the block and a part of our culture for a long time. They suffered through the COVID season, but definitely having the leadership and continuity with this group has been big for us.”

Paul Lewis was a star for the Panthers in the 2019 championship game with 14 tackles, two interceptions and a touchdown reception. He leads Pahranagat Valley with 21 total touchdowns — 16 rushing and five receiving.

Eureka has dominated every opponent by at least 36 points and averages 10.1 yards per carry. Clayton Shoda has completed 57 percent of his passes and has nine touchdowns with one interception.

“We’re very similar teams,” Hansen said. “We both like to run to set up the pass. They run a lot of powers to the outside from the I-formation, and they also run the double wing with powers or counters to the backside. When they do throw the ball, (Shoda) knows what he’s doing.”

Contact Jason Orts at jorts@reviewjournal.com. Follow @SportsWithOrts on Twitter.

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