Defending state champion Spring Mountain and their one-man offense overwhelmed the Eureka Vandals 58-8 in the first round of the state playoffs at Crutchley Field last week.
The Golden Eagles raced to a 32-0 halftime lead. Quarterback Masiah Pagota scored six touchdowns on the Vandals, two on the ground and two by passing. He rushed for 128 yards on 10 carries and was 7-of-13 passing for 216 yards.
His favorite play is the long ball and he had two long touchdown passes, one of 75 yards to Jimmy Smith. He had another long 29 nonscoring pass to Jakobe Mott.
The Vandals did a nice job though containing running back Davion Diggs. He rushed 13 times for 76 yards and one touchdown.
But it was the triple threat of Pagota who is the main attraction for the Eagles as he scrambles out of the pocket and either picks up good yardage on the ground or finds a receiver who has come uncovered to receive a first down pass.
Eureka notably had a hard time competing with the athleticism and speed of the Eagles team. Athletic director and assistant coach Elmer Porter said, “It was definitely a better team than we have faced up here, much faster. Their speed and size is more than what is used to up here. Overwhelming for our group in a lot of different ways.”
Pagota scored twice in the first quarter and four times in the second quarter for the Eagles.
Eureka’s only points came in the third quarter on a long run by Gage Hayward. They ended the season 7-2, losing the opening game of the season, then rolling up seven straight wins and a third consecutive east league title, before playing Spring Mountain.
The Eagles (8-1) play Tonopah (8-1) in the first game of the semifinal doubleheader this Saturday at Beatty High School. It will be a rematch on the 2018 championship game which Spring Mountain won 60-38.
Pahranagat Valley (11-0) and Smith Valley (9-0) meet in the second game in a battle of unbeatens. The teams have not met since 2006.
The championship game will be played Nov. 23 at a site yet to be determined by the NIAA.