November 21, 2023 - 10:55 am
Updated November 21, 2023 - 1:10 pm
In Nate Oishi’s first two seasons as Lake Mead Academy’s football coach, he had to do everything. The former UNLV offensive lineman would spend hours lining and painting the field and firing up the portable rental lights before games.
When his Eagles took the field Tuesday for the Class 2A state title game, the lights and lines were all set up at Allegiant Stadium, the state’s grandest football stage. His team was ready, too.
Freshman Jerry Meyer threw six touchdown passes to set the state single-season record, and Lake Mead rolled to a 49-6 victory over Northern champion Pershing County to win the school’s first football state title.
“It feels pretty good,” Oishi said of winning the title in his third season. “It might take me a couple of days for this to sink in. We didn’t blink. The game went by fast, and I have no deep thoughts yet about it.”
Freshman wide receiver Antonio Spann had three catches, all touchdowns, and totaled 115 yards for Lake Mead (10-1).
“It’s amazing. I’m proud of the kids,” Oishi said. “Proud of the guys. Seeing them grow, and a lot of the freshmen make big plays, it’s big.”
Meyer, who completed 14 of 19 passes for 249 yards, finished the season with 58 touchdown passes to surpass Bishop Gorman’s Micah Alejado, who threw 52 in 2022.
“These guys, they prepare me for these situations every day in practice,” Meyer said. “We were in battles in practice. It starts with the offensive line, and our receivers do a great job getting open. They really make it easy for me.”
Oishi took over a program that had just one winning season in its previous eight. With the help of some of his former UNLV football teammates on staff as assistants, Lake Mead has posted back-to-back winning seasons.
“That’s what made it fun,” Oishi said. “Even the long nights and stuff, being with my teammates made it fun.”
Lake Mead went three-and-out on its first offensive possession, but that was its only drive in the first half to end without points. Meyer connected with Spann on touchdowns of 31, 60 and 24 yards to give the Eagles a 21-0 lead after the first quarter.
Lake Mead’s defense added to the scoring when Gavin Cummins recovered a fumble by Pershing County (9-4) and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown. A Vance Maheu fumble recovery set up another Meyer touchdown, as he hit Tyler Brooks for a 15-yard score late in the second quarter to give the Eagles a 35-0 halftime lead.
Meyer added a 16-yard touchdown pass to Christian Rhodes in the third quarter and a 21-yard score to Bowe Farmer in the fourth. Senior kicker Gracie Rhodes made all seven of her extra point attempts and finished the season with 74 makes on 76 attempts to lead the state.
“Don’t set expectations. That is what I learned from these seniors,” Oishi said. “Don’t set expectations for what you think you can do. You can do anything that you worked for, and they earned it. They never cheated the grind, and they earned this.”
Pershing County scored midway through the fourth quarter on a 10-yard run from Denzel Zaldivar.