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courtesy of MaxPreps.comMaxPreps.com
Blue Ridge isn't perfect, but wins Sollenberger openerAug 18, 2012 GLENDALE, Ariz. – Blue Ridge (Lakeside, Ariz.) coach Paul Moro passed on the first week of practice, deciding practicing in July was too early.
While the lack of reps, and a few injuries mixed in, didn't keep Blue Ridge from coming away with a 23-14 win over Moapa Valley (Overton, Nev.) on Saturday in the Barry Sollenberger Classic, it did leave Moro wanting more from the Yellow Jackets.
The win was Blue Ridge's 15th straight and 40th in 41 tries.
"I'm not satisfied and we made a lot of mistakes," he said. "We just tried to hang on."
A coach with 12 state titles has the right to demand of certain level of execution and he usually gets it from the players who grew up wanting nothing more than to play for Blue Ridge.
One of those players getting his chance was senior Ben Watson, who got little offensive exposure last year, but hauled in a 70 yard pass from Skyler Hill to opening the scoring.
After Moapa Valley took the lead 8-7 in the second quarter, Watson returned an interception 34 yards for a score with 7 minutes remaining before halftime for a lead the Yellow Jackets never gave up.
"Walker Lee tipped it and I came down with it," Watson said. "My guys blocked for me and I was able to take it all the way back. It was a great feeling to do that in a place like this."
Moapa Valley, which knocked off Show Low in last year's Sollenberger, was unable to get much going against the Blue Ridge defense, which was led by Easton Wengert and Chans Cox. The Pirates finished with 191 total yards and rarely crossed the Blue Ridge 40.
Moapa Valley senior Sean McConnell was able to return a punt 40 yards for a score on the last play of the game to close the gap.