Rasmussen's legs lead Desert Ridge to rout of Highland - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Rasmussen's legs lead Desert Ridge to rout of Highland

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Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2011 12:34 am

Sometimes you just have to take what they're giving you.

Such was the case for Desert Ridge quarterback Parker Rasmussen, who departed from his pass-happy ways and turned into a rushing juggernaut.

Rasmussen ran for 197 yards on 18 carries and scored four touchdowns as the Jaguars (3-0) defeated visiting Highland 48-0 in a Division I, Section II game.

“We are prepared for anything,” Rasmussen said. “We just take what the defense gives us.”

In this case, Rasmussen and the Jaguars identified that the Hawks (0-3) were playing a man-to-man scheme to limit Desert Ridge’s passing attack.

In the Jaguars' initial five-play drive, Rasmussen had three carries. The drive concluded on Rasmussen’s 43-yard touchdown two minutes into the game.

Coming into the game, Rasmussen had 90 rushing yards, a 3.3 yards-per-carry average with no touchdowns. By the end of the first half, he had 189 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

“This was just my week,” he said. “Some weeks it may be (receiver) Rudy (Jimenez) or (receiver) Jordan (Becerra).”

Rasmussen also threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Joey Counts, who made his season debut after missing the first two weeks with a shoulder injury. Counts also scored on a 7-yard run in the second quarter.

As the first half was ending, the wind picked up and the lightning got closer. Highland ran one play in the third quarter before officials delayed the game due to lightning in the area.

During the delay, Highland was given the option of forfeiting the remainder of the game. Down 42-0 and having been outgained by more than 300 yards, Highland would have been forgiven for hopping in the bus and getting out of the rain.

“Our kids wanted to play,” said Highland coach Pete Walheim. “They prepared hard all week.”

Desert Ridge now moves on to one of its toughest chores of the year – hosting state champion Hamilton next Friday.

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