It is widely assumed that all roads to the Class 4A state football championship will go through Silverado High School.
But Las Vegas High might have earned the right to take an alternate route before heading down that treacherous path.
Sophomore quarterback Elijah Espinoza compiled video-game numbers, completing 32 of 37 passes for 607 yards and six touchdowns as Las Vegas routed host Durango 49-15 on Friday night in a battle of Mountain League pacesetters.
Giovanni Espinoza caught scoring throws of 57 and 12 yards from his younger brother, and Andrew Bowen scored on a 6-yard reception as the Wildcats (6-1, 3-0) raced to a 21-0 lead before piling on the points in the second half and easily turning back the Trailblazers (5-3, 2-1).
The victory gave Las Vegas sole command of first place in the Mountain and the inside track on lining up in the opposite bracket from top-ranked and undefeated Silverado in the playoffs.
“We’ll play anybody, anywhere, but it was good for us because we set goals at the beginning of the season, and part one of those goals is winning your conference,” Las Vegas coach Erick Capetillo said after his team won its sixth consecutive game. “You win your conference, you put yourself in good position in the playoffs.”
Capetillo raised an eyebrow after Elijah Espinoza’s numbers were totaled, but allowed it seemed like a long time before he threw his first incompletion.
“We dropped like nine passes last week (in a 14-0 win over Basic), which really put a