An early bout of penalties was the only thing that could. Temporarily, impede Marcos de Niza’s offense during the Padres’ 57-6 rout of Maricopa on Friday night.
Coming into the game fresh off a huge win against Scottsdale Chaparral, the Padres (3-0) ran to a 6-0 lead against the Rams (1-2) but stalled in possession number two due to five penalties, one of which snuffed a long third-down conversion.
That was the one time Marcos had any difficulties showcasing its offense, as the Padres proceeded to score 37 unanswered points on four touchdown passes from quarterback Josh Eckley – three of which landed in the hands of receiver Paul Elvira – a 45-yard touchdown run from halfback Mauriece Lee and a safety during a Rams’ punt attempt.
“In the beginning it was kind of sloppy, but we gathered our head,” said Marcos head coach Roy Lopez
The safety was one of several moments in which the Padres’ defensive line swamped the Rams’ offensive line throughout the evening. Rams’ quarterback Caleb Buck took the brunt of it, he succumbed to seven sacks and lost two fumbles, and the Maricopa ground attack, which accounted for four yards in the first half, could find little, if any, open space to roam.
Benefiting Marcos’ efficient offense – the team gained 375 yards on 33 plays – was a special teams unit that gave the Padres’ offense possession inside Maricopa’s territory in six of the team’s nine possessions. The special teams unit even contributed to the scoreboard directly through a 62-yard punt return by Kamron Johnson in the fourth quarter.
For the game, Eckley completed 11 of 15 passes for 142 yards and four touchdowns, and added 92 yards on eight carries. Lee contributed 76 yards on seven touches and the one touchdown.
Elvira was the Padres’ leading receiver, catching the ball four times for 89 yards and three touchdowns – all three trips to the end zone were on plays that were 20 yards or longer – and receiver Jacquese Moore chipped in four receptions for 31 yards and the other receiving touchdown.
Pacing Maricopa on the ground was junior halfback Elijah Alvarado, who had 41 yards on 11 carries. Buck completed 9 of 19 passes for 108 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to tight end Franshua Avila, who led the team with five catches for 53 yards.
With the Maricopa game in the book, Lopez said the Padres can now focus on an upcoming slate of games, beginning with Chandler Perry next week, that will play a prominent role in his team’s fortunes.
“The boys played hard; now it’s time to keep it going,” Lopez said. “The next two weeks are huge for us.”
Marcos de Niza 57, Maricopa 6
Marcos: 6 21 16 14 - 57
Maricopa: 0 0 0 6 - 6
First Downs: Marcos 10, Maricopa 13
Rushing: Marcos – 18/233, Maricopa – 32/92
Passing: Marcos – 11/15 142 yards, Maricopa – 9/21 108
Fumbles-lost: Marcos 0-0, Maricopa 3-2
Penalties-Yards: Marcos: 13-127 Maricopa 12-110
Marcos: Elvira 20-yd. TD from Eckley (kick failed)
Marcos: Moore 9-yd. TD from Eckley (Eckley 2-pt. Conv. To Taylor Blankenship)
Marcos: Elvira 39-yd. TD from Eckley (Jones Kick)
Marcos: Elvira 21-yd. TD from Eckley (kick failed)
Marcos: Lee 45-yd. TD run (Jones kick)
Marcos: Molina 1-yd. TD run (Jones kick)
Maricopa: Avila 5-yd. TD from Buck (kick failed)
Marcos: Johnson 66-yd. TD run (Jones kick)
Marcos: Johnson 62-yd. punt return (Jones kick)