A lot of people will tell you if something isn’t broke, don’t try to fix it.
Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock doesn’t seem to subscribe to that theory.
Even though it was Jordan Becerra who helped quarterback Desert Ridge to the 5A Division I title game last season, Parker Rasmussen was behind center for the majority of Friday’s season-opening 47-7 win over Gilbert in a Division I matchup at Gilbert.
Hathcock said this offseason that he would use both this year depending on a particular matchup, and since the Tigers played the speedy Becerra one-on-one when he lined up at receiver, the Jaguars used it to their advantage.
Becerra had four catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns and Rasmussen finished the night 10-of-15 passing for 227 yards and four scores as Desert Ridge rolled.
“They were going man-on-man on Jordan all night, so why switch it?” Hathcock said. “I thought we’d use them about 50-50 (at quarterback) or Jordan probably a little bit more, but if they’re going to go one-on-one on Becerra, one of the fastest kids in the state, I’d be the dumbest coordinator in the world to change it.”
The offense moved the ball well all night, but stalled in the red zone three times early on as the game stayed tied for the first quarter and a half. The Jaguars then broke out in a big way, scoring touchdowns on their next five possession to take a 34-0 lead. The outburst was highlighted by a pair of touchdown passes by Rasmussen on back-to-back plays in the third quarter.
He was the team’s starting quarterback to start last season, but a knee injury knocked him out until the championship game loss to Hamilton.
Rasmussen said he wasn’t quite sure where he would be playing when the year began.
“I talked to coach a little bit and he said it would just be a competition,” Rasmussen said. “All these players are like my best friends, though, so I was willing to do whatever he told me. Quarterback, receiver, I’ll just give my best effort at whatever position I’m playing.”
Desert Ridge didn’t have running back Joey Counts, who has missed extensive time since mid-June with a shoulder injury. However, Hathcock said he could have played and will be back for next week’s game against Mountain View.
Damani Moseby had a big game for the Jaguars, catching a 20-yard touchdown pass and returning a fumble 93 yards for a score.
Gilbert’s offense struggled in the first half, but the passing game got going after intermission.
Mitch Trail was 11-of-21 for 236 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and Connor Helvig had seven catches for 133 yards and a score. The Tigers lost three fumbles in addition to the interception, which helped lead to the game getting out of hand.