As Moapa Valley football players congregated to sing the school’s fight song Saturday, they had plenty of reasons to celebrate a fifth straight win over rival Virgin Valley.
But the Pirates had one extra reason to rejoice, too: a spot in the Class 3A state semifinals.
Zach Waite rushed for four touchdowns, Moapa Valley took advantage of a barrage of Virgin Valley mistakes, and the host Pirates rolled to a 33-21 quarterfinal victory in Overton.
“It’s a good feeling. They’re our archrival, and we like to beat them,” Waite said. “Our goal is to go to state, and that’s where we’re trying to go right now.”
Moapa Valley (6-4) will host Lowry (8-3) on Saturday in a state semifinal.
Waite carried 11 times for 80 yards, including touchdown runs of 19, 1, 15 and 10 yards.
“If you give Zach a hole, he’s money,” Pirates coach Brent Lewis said. “We made holes for him, and that’s the big thing.”
Moapa Valley stole the momentum for good late in the second quarter, when Virgin Valley’s punter ran out of bounds at his 1-yard line after fielding a snap that sailed over his head.
Waite plunged in for a 1-yard score on the ensuing play, giving the Pirates a 19-14 lead with 1 minute, 22 seconds to go before halftime.
It was one of two costly high snaps on punt attempts for the Bulldogs, who also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.
“We like to say you make your own luck, but we’ll take a gift any time you can get it,” Lewis said. “That’s kind of what that was; you’ve got to jump on it.”
Safety Hayden Cooper returned a Bulldogs fumble to the Virgin Valley 15-yard line late in the third quarter, and Waite found a huge hole on the left side of the offensive line to cruise into the end zone on the next play.
Moapa Valley quarterback Kelan Weiss threw for 133 yards, including a 71-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Shane Terril on the first play from scrimmage.
Virgin Valley quarterback Humberto Urias passed for 98 yards, with a 31-yard TD pass to wide receiver Brandon Cohen in the first quarter and a 3-yard touchdown to running back Daniel Gleave on the final play from scrimmage.
Dee Bowler added 94 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for Virgin Valley.
■ Agassi Prep 62, The Meadows 30 — At Rancho, running backs Tank Carter and DeVonn Porter each had three touchdowns to lead the Stars to their first Class 2A playoff victory in school history.
Carter scored on runs of 16, 20 and 29 yards, finishing with 82 yards on 10 carries.
The Stars (7-2) wasted little time, driving 54 yards in six plays on the game’s opening drive, capped by quarterback Terrell Kemp’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Porter.
Porter tacked on a 3-yard scoring run on the Stars’ next possession and scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter to finish with 151 yards on 21 carries.
The Meadows quarterback Garrett Gosse rushed for 65 yards on 13 carries, including touchdown runs of 12, 1 and 4 yards. Gosse also completed 21 of 41 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown.
Agassi Prep will host Pershing County in a 2A semifinal at 1 p.m. Saturday.
— Vincent Hernandez
■ Mountain View 42, Needles 28 — At Needles, Calif., quarterback T.J. Engel and running back Justyn Anderson each scored three touchdowns as the Saints (6-5) upset the Mustangs (6-4) in a Class 2A state quarterfinal.
The Saints, the No. 4 seed from the South, turned an early 7-0 deficit into a 21-7 halftime lead on Engel touchdown passes of 12 and 31 yards to Anderson and a 6-yard TD run by Engel.
The Mustangs, the South’s No. 1 seed, had a chance to trim their deficit on the final drive of the first half, pushing to the Mountain View 3-yard line before Saints defensive lineman Henry Santos intercepted a pass.
A 28-yard TD run by Anderson and a 54-yard scoring run by Engel, sandwiched around a TD run by Needles fullback Daric Courtwright, pushed the margin to 35-14 after three quarters, and a 1-yard plunge by Engel made it 42-14 with 10:04 to left.
Engel had 26 carries for 163 yards and threw for 97 yards. Anderson finished with 88 yards on seven carries and caught five passes for 71 yards.
Courtwright scored on runs of 1, 2 and 2 yards for Needles, which also got a 46-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Mathews to wide receiver Austin Baldwin.
Mountain View will face Rite of Passage in Yerington at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Contact reporter Tristan Aird at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203.In-depth high school sports coverage