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Rost, known for double wing offense, resigns after 19 seasons as Palo Verde coach

Darwin Rost didn’t always run the double wing at Palo Verde. It only seems that way.

Rost, who resigned as the Panthers’ football coach last week after 19 seasons, is synonymous in Las Vegas with the run-based offense that oftentimes resembles a rugby scrum. But if not for a suggestion from defensive coordinator Charlie Jarvis in 2001, Rost might never have brought the system to the valley.

“It wasn’t like we were losing and all of a sudden put (the double wing) in,” Rost said. “It was one of those things that we put it in because we felt we would be more successful with it. And I think we were.”

Rost used the I-formation for his first six seasons with the Panthers. But after a playoff loss to Durango in 2001, Jarvis recommended the coaching staff travel to Rialto, Calif., and meet with Don Markham, the father of the modern double wing.

Palo Verde won its first of five Sunset Region championships using the double wing in 2002, and with Jarrell Harrison at quarterback in 2004, Palo Verde went 14-0 and set a state record with 4,542 rushing yards on the way to its only state title.

Rost’s 2008 team is the last Nevada squad to beat Bishop Gorman, and the Panthers’ only losses in 2010 and 2011 came against Gorman. Since then, Palo Verde has dabbled with the Pistol formation but still is known for the double wing.

Rost, the only coach in Palo Verde history, went 154-50 and produced a slew of college players along with one who made the NFL (Gerard Lawson). Before arriving at Palo Verde, Rost opened Durango and spent three seasons there.

Rost will continue as Palo Verde’s athletic director for the rest of the school year, and he didn’t rule out a return to coaching.

“It’s been a really good run here,” Rost said. “We’ve always had great support from this community, and we kept the coaching staff. The coaches, the administration and the kids is definitely the reason we had a lot of success here at Palo.”

■ FLAG FORFEITS — Valley and Liberty both forfeited their flag football game Friday due to what the Southern Nevada Officials Association called a “bench-clearing incident” between the teams.

Both teams also forfeited their next scheduled game, which was Tuesday’s regular-season finale. As a result, Valley finished third in the Northeast League and Liberty fifth, one game behind Del Sol for the final playoff spot.

■ KAZEL WON’T RETURN — Alex Kazel resigned as Boulder City football coach after reaching the postseason five times in his seven seasons with the Eagles.

Kazel compiled a career record of 36-36 and led Boulder City to the Division I-A playoffs each of the past three seasons. His most successful team was in 2012, when the Eagles went 9-2 and advanced to the I-A state quarterfinals.

■ MORRIS EARNS TOP HONOR — Coronado senior forward Michaela Morris, who scored a Division I-leading 45 goals to help the Cougars reach the state final, was named the Gatorade Nevada Girls Soccer Player of the Year. The UNLV recruit is now eligible for the national award, which will be announced in May.

■ RECENT COMMITMENTS — Coronado junior Cali Thompson to Portland for women’s volleyball. … Bishop Gorman senior Jasmine Gibson to Howard University for softball.

Reporter Bartt Davis contributed to this report. Contact reporter David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.

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