Defense, running game lift Desert Ridge - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Defense, running game lift Desert Ridge

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Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 11:40 pm

The Desert Ridge football team knocked off Boulder Creek 40-7 Friday night.

Desert Ridge (9-1) started the scoring with a defensive touchdown late in the first quarter. Linebacker Shay Real came on a blitz and sacked Boulder Ridge quarterback Gunther Johnson. Real ripped the ball out of Johnson's hands and took it back 22 yards for a touchdown with 25.8 seconds left in the opening quarter.

"Our defense has been coming up big and that says a lot about us," Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock said. "If we can clean things up, we can go far. I'm really proud of our guys tonight."

Desert Ridge boosted its lead to 13-0 when quarterback Tarek Morrison found Danny Siaumau on a post route down the seam for a 39-yard touchdown pass with five minutes left in the first half. Morrison scored on a 7-yard touchdown run with 27.7 seconds left in the half for a 20-0 lead.

"We're hitting with the run, the run again and then the pass," Morrison said, "We kept running and then the holes opened up."

Desert Ridge kept the pedal to the metal in the second half as Morrison connected with Nick Colson for a 14-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-7 play. Colson made the catch at the 10-yard line and slashed his way through the Boulder Creek defense to get into the end zone for a 26-0 lead.

Morrison hit paydirt from eight yards out with 2:53 left in the third quarter for a 32-0 lead. Desert Ridge missed three extra points due to a stiff breeze that was blowing most of the night.

Boulder Creek broke the shutout bid with a passing touchdown in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Desert Ridge answered back with Siaumau breaking free on another post route for a 48-yard touchdown catch with 6:38 left to close the scoring.

Desert Ridge used the ground game to control the flow of the game. They picked up 304 yards on 31 carries and finished with 446 yards of total offense; Boulder Creek had just 152.

"Our line is the best in the state and they take control," first-time running back Nathaniel Rodriguez said, "They open the holes for us."

Rodriguez filled in for the injured JJ Husar and performed well, picking up 149 yards on nine carries highlighted by a 73-yard run. The big run converted a 2nd-and-39 situation and set up Morrison's seven-yard touchdown run on the next play,

Desert Ridge may have a shot at the No. 1 overall seed in the Division I postseason with the victory.

"We needed Gilbert to beat Dobson and that happened," Hathcock said, "and we needed to have a good win against a quality team. We'll find out tomorrow morning."


First downs: DR 15; BC 9

Rushes-Yards: DR:31-304 BC 25-75

Comp-Att-Yds-Int: DR 4-10-142-0; BC 17-29-77-1

Fumbles-Lost DR: 5-1; BC 1-0

Penalties DR: 11-70; BC 2-20

Scoring Summary

DR-Real 22 fumble return (Solis kick)

DR-Siaumau 39 pass from Morrison (kick failed)

DR-Morrison 7 run (Solis kick)

DR-Colson 14 pass from Morrison (kick failed)

DR-Morrison 8 run (kick failed)

BC-Johnson 11 pass from Johnson (Perna kick)

DR-Siaumau 48 pass from Smith (Figeuroa rush)

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]