HENDERSON — Mother Nature threatened to ruin the 2013 football opener for Grand Junction and Prairie View, but the teams got the last laugh in staging one of the wildest games of the early season.
After a delayed start, the visitors walked off the field at 11:12 p.m. with a 61-42 win that resembled more of a 6-man football game.
The game was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., but a severe thunderstorm prompted game managers to, wisely, postpone the start until 8:05. The teams started an abbreviated warm-up only to be pulled off the field by game officials for another delay. By the time the teams returned, it was nearly 8:45.
The Tigers opened the game by trying an onside kick, but Prairie View covered the kick. PVHS struggled on it first possession and GJHS's Tanner Griffin blocked the punt and then recovered it in the end zone. PVHS got its first score when Anthony Prespotino recovered a muffed punt in the end zone. Jessica Dunn's first of six PATs gave the Thunderhawks a short-lived lead at 7-6.
That started the scoring onslaught and created nightmares for both defenses. The score was 21-18 after the first quarter in favor of Prairie View and 31-28 Grand Junction at the half.
Grand Junction added a pair of scores early in the third, took at 46-28 lead at 9:37 in the third and thwarted numerous attempts from the potent Thunderhawk offense to start 1-0.
Both teams' offenses had plenty of stars. The Tigers quarterback Tyler Heinsma threw for over 250 yards and three TDs. Theron Verna was a force in the game, scoring on passes of 73 and 22 yards and taking a pitch from Heinsma and sprinting 58 yards to score. Austin Lewis had three scores on a pass and two runs.
Not to be outdone, Prairie View's RJ Martinez is a home run threat every time he touches the ball, especially on kickoffs where he amassed over 100 return yards and had an 80-yard kickoff return called back by penalty. Cole Barone had two scoreds on runs of 56 and 68 yards for Prairie View, while quarterback Ben Meraz added a 46-yard TD run of his own.