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Spring Mountain earns rematch with Pahranagat Valley

Roster turnover is the norm for Spring Mountain football coach Aaron Masden.

At the end of each season, his depth chart is wiped clean and replaced with a crop of widely unknown talent.

Guiding a team that is part of the Clark County Department of Juvenile Services programs, Masden has no choice.

“We have a brand new team every year,” said Masden, whose players are juvenile delinquents on the path to reform. “We really believe and preach to our boys each year that if they work hard enough, if they want to dedicate themselves to it and make sacrifices, they can achieve a level of success and get themselves into a position to play for a championship.”

That moment is now.

Spring Mountain (9-1) will meet Pahranagat Valley (10-0) in the Division IV state final at noon Saturday at Bishop Gorman High School. The eight-man squad seeks the program’s first state title.

“The biggest thing that I’ve always said is that if they care enough late in the season, we can be dangerous,” said Masden, in his fifth year with the Eagles. “These guys … want to achieve that success.”

To win the crown, however, Spring Mountain must do something no team has done for almost five years – beat Pahranagat Valley.

In their regular-season game Sept. 14, the Panthers blitzed the Eagles 62-28, one of 56 straight wins for Pahranagat Valley. The Panthers racked up 413 yards of offense. Senior quarterback Austin Poulsen ran for four touchdowns.

The Eagles’ plan to combat Pahranagat Valley’s offense with quarterback Marcus Thomas, who has thrown for 1,283 yards, 23 touchdowns and only two interceptions. The junior also has rushed for 1,303 yards and 19 touchdowns.

“He’s very dangerous with his intelligence and understanding of the schemes and what we’re doing,” Masden said.

The Eagles have a plethora of other offensive weapons in receivers Christopher Munro (27 catches, 429 yards, six TDs) and Dwayne James (28 catches, 418 yards, eight TDs) and running backs Bruce Travis-Collins (630 yards rushing, 14 TDs) and Ashley Christmas (520 yards rushing, six TDs).

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