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Dave Kavanaugh/Optic photo
Quarterback John Balizan talks strategy with West Las Vegas head coach Adrian Gonzales. Balizan has earned the full-time job as starting QB this fall.
Dons on the rise

Sept. 17, 2016, quickly turned into a party for young John Balizan and the West Las Vegas Dons.

Balizan, pressed into solo starting duty as the Dons’ quarterback after an injury to the older Robbie Alarcon, found himself alone at the controls.

He didn’t shy away from the pressure. He thrived on it.

Balizan completed 11-of-16 passes for 254 yards, including an 81-yard bomb to fellow freshman Estevan Gonzales. That strike was one of three touchdown throws for Balizan as West went on to a 56-23 victory at Albuquerque Academy.

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