D-Ridge runs past Highland and into matchup with Hamilton - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

D-Ridge runs past Highland and into matchup with Hamilton

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Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012 10:45 pm

They're fast, and fast becoming a dynamic duo.

As they've done to this point all season, Tarek Morrison and JJ Husar ran wild in Desert Ridge's 42-7 victory against Highland.

The win improved the Hawks to 3-0 heading into next week's matchup with Hamilton, and temporarily spoiled Highland's fast start to the season (2-1).

The running game is rolling at 'Ridge. Using speed out wide and occasional burst up the middle, Morrison and Husar combined for more than 220 yards rushing and four touchdowns, with the junior Morrison scoring three of those on short quarterback keepers.

Despite being without their starting offensive tackle (whom the Jaguars hope to have back next week), a still-hefty offensive line and the duo's speed were difficult for Highland, which played without three starters as well due to injuries.

None of that mattered to the Hawks, which were swarmed by Desert Ridge's defense. Highland had success running the ball in its 2-0 start to the season, but the Hawks couldn't get James Brletic or quarterback Blake Young free.

"That wasn't the team we've coached this season and the last month," Hawks coach Pete Wahlheim said of his group. "I'm disappointed we didn't come out ready to play, and that starts with me. This team will be better prepared to play, I know that much."

The Jaguars sailed down the field on their opening drive of the night, and, without needing to throw the ball, led 14-0 by the end of the first quarter and 21-0 at halftime behind Husar and Morrison.

Husar finished with 124 yards and a score. Morrison ran for 96 yards, three rushing touchdowns and threw a 48-yarder to Manny Figueroa down the sideline late in the third quarter.

Given a comfortable lead early, Desert Ridge's defense did the rest. Nick Allen repeatedly caused chaos toward Highland's offensive line. The 6-foot-5, 245-pounder had a big sack in the first half, three tackles for loss and recovered a fumble in the end zone for the Jaguars' final touchdown of the night early in the fourth quarter.

"Our defense really played well," said Jaguars coach Jeremy Hathcock, who noted it's the first time in his tenure there's been enough depth to rotate seven or eight lineman into games for three or four plays at a time to keep them fresh.

That might come in handy next week against Hamilton.

"Last I checked they beat us a couple times lately, so we have all the respect in the world for them," Hathcock said. "We have our work cut out for us, that's for (darn) sure."

Desert Ridge 42, Highland 7

DR   14 7 14 7 -- 42

Highland   0 0 0 7 -- 7

DR - Morrison 1 run (Solis kick)

DR - Morrison 3 run (Solis kick)

DR - Morrison 4 run (Solis kick)

DR - Husar 3 run (Solis kick)

DR - Figueroa 48 pass from Morrison (Solis kick)

DR - Allen 14 fumble recovery (Solis kick)

H - Berry 2 run (Miller kick)

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