Defense spurs Panthers& upset of Spring Valley | Las Vegas Review-Journal

19 мая 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

Defense spurs Panthers upset of Spring Valley

Forcing five first-half turnovers wasn’t enough for Palo Verde to pull away from visiting Spring Valley on Friday night.

So the fifth-ranked Panthers forced another one on the Grizzlies’ final offensive play.

Defensive lineman Mitch LaMonte batted a Kyle Wolak pass into the air and came down with the interception with about a minute left to seal Palo Verde’s 28-20 victory over the second-ranked Grizzlies (3-1).

It was the biggest win of the season so far for us, LaMonte said. Right now, it’s unbelievable. I can’t believe I picked it off at the end. It was crazy.

The Palo Verde defense had forced a turnover on downs with 2:45 left to apparently seal the victory. But Rockney Ricafrente fumbled on the first play of the ensuing dive, and the Grizzlies’ Jeremy Kadoich recovered at the Spring Valley 31 to give the team one final shot.

Wolak completed four passes to move the ball to the Palo Verde 27, but the interception by the 6-foot-3-inch LaMonte on fourth-and-5 ended the threat.

Palo Verde (3-0) led 28-7 entering the fourth quarter before Spring Valley made it interesting. Eric Dyer’s 2-yard touchdown run with 11:42 left made the score 28-13, and Wolak hit Brandon Weisenberger with a 5-yard touchdown pass with 4:54 left to cut the lead to 28-20.

They started rallying back in the second half, and it got really, really scary, LaMonte said. Thank God for our defense.

The Palo Verde offense didn’t capitalize on the defense’s hard work in the first half. The five turnovers led to just one touchdown, and the Panthers didn’t take advantage of three great opportunities in the final seven minutes of the second quarter.

A fumble recovery by Ricafrente gave the Panthers the ball at the Spring Valley 23, but two big losses pushed the ball back to the 36, and Palo Verde was forced to punt.

Palo Verde’s Jordan Batton recovered another fumble at the Spring Valley 11 with 5:47 left in the half, but a holding penalty doomed that drive, and a 23-yard field goal attempt missed.

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An interception by Liloa Nobriga gave the Panthers the ball at the Spring Valley 13 with 2:35 left in the half, but the drive stalled at the 10 with 30 seconds remaining.

We got down there, and we couldn’t punch it in because we kept shooting ourselves in the foot, said Palo Verde coach Darwin Rost, who handles the team’s offense. But that was our defense putting ourselves in that position. Our defense did a great job of getting there.


But we got nothing out of it. Zilch. Fire the offensive coordinator.

Sidney Hodge rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown and forced two fumbles for Palo Verde. Ricafrente rushed for two touchdowns, and Tyrone Blake had a rushing TD, but the team didn’t complete a pass.

It was a great win for us, LaMonte said. The offensive line and defensive line, we’re all veterans, and we did a good job. Everybody got the job done.

Wolak completed 15 of 30 passes for 211 yards but was intercepted three times. Weisenberger caught five passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns.

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