Las Vegas football coach James Thurman has been waiting for the moment his team’s offense plays up to its full potential.
It may have finally come on Friday.
Trevor Swenson threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns, and the visiting Wildcats played nearly mistake-free on offense in a 30-27 upset over No. 4 Canyon Springs.
The No. 10 Wildcats (3-3, 1-0 Northeast League) scored the first 20 points of the game, then had to hold on as Canyon Springs rallied in the second half. With the game tied at 20, Swenson hit Zachary Loveland for a 72-yard catch and run on the final play of the third quarter to swing momentum back in favor of Las Vegas.
Swenson connected with Elias Miller for a 6-yard score two plays after Loveland’s big play for a 27-20 Las Vegas lead. Astrid Catalan capped a 13-play drive with his third field goal, this one from 30 yards out, to put the Wildcats up 30-20 with 4:16 remaining in regulation.
Canyon Springs (4-2, 1-1) answered quickly as Bradley Alexander hit Kujuan Casey for a 26-yard gain and, two plays later, the duo hooked up again for a 21-yard touchdown to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 30-27 with 2:57 left to play.
The Pioneers got the ball back at their own 47-yard line with 1:29 to go and drove to Las Vegas’ 13 thanks to a 23-yard run by Tre’von Dean and a key pass interference penalty. However, Alexander lost a fumble after being sacked that sealed the win for the Wildcats.
Elijah Hicks rushed for 115 yards on 30 carries for Las Vegas, while Loveland finished with five catches for 131 yards. Teammate Hanoi Rabago added three catches for 50 yards and a touchdown.
Jerrod Blackwell rushed for 72 of his 73 yards in the second half and had two touchdowns for Canyon Springs, which committed four turnovers that the Wildcats turned into 14 points. Blackwell had a 2-yard touchdown run with 1:45 left in the third quarter and scored on a 54-yard run with 7.8 seconds to go in the quarter that tied the score at 20.
Canyon Springs trailed 20-0 but got a lift when C.J. Jones blocked Catalan’s 42-yard field-goal attempt and Alexander returned it 76 yards on the final play of the first half to make it 20-7.
Contact reporter David Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.