Defense does heavy lifting as Desert Ridge rolls Skyline - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Defense does heavy lifting as Desert Ridge rolls Skyline

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Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 11:38 pm | Updated: 4:40 pm, Wed Dec 3, 2014.

Desert Ridge dominated Skyline on both offense and defense Friday as they rolled to an easy 56-13 win.

The Jaguars (4-1) defense set up their offense this week as they forced six Skyline turnovers. The Coyotes (3-2) fumbled five times in the second quarter alone, leading to 28 Jaguar points.

“Our kids just capitalized on opportunities,” Jaguars coach Jeremy Hathcock said. “ Our goal is to get four (takeaways) a game and we usually get three a game, but we doubled it. You coach for opportunities like that and our kids did a good job."

Desert Ridge led from the outset as it scored on the opening drive on a 27-yard run from quarterback Tarek Morrison to make it 7-0. Morrison, a dangerous dual-threat, rushed for 70 yards and two touchdowns on the night and also completed 7 of 8 passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns.

Skyline looked like it was going to make a game of it early as it drove down to the Desert Ridge 6 on the subsequent drive, but were stopped on 4th-and-1. The Jaguars responded with a 77-yard touchdown run by running back JJ Husar to go ahead 14-0.

The dominant Desert Ridge defense took over from there. It forced a turnover on the ensuing kickoff, leading to Morrison’s second touchdown run. Skyline drove inside the Jaguars’ 10 yard line on its  ensuing possession but fumbled the exchange and Desert Ridge recovered the fumble.

The Jaguars’ drive stalled and Skyline marched back inside the 10 once again. Running back Francisco Avitia fumbled, however, and safety Nathaniel Rodriguez scooped it up and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown.

“It was a sweep and they pitched the ball, and I saw Charlie (Murphy) pop out the ball and my first thought was to scoop and score and I got it and just ran for the touchdown,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez did the same thing on the Skyline’s next drive, scooping up a George Castillo fumble and returning this one 24 yards for another score.

“They ran a stretch and someone popped the ball loose, and it was right there for me,” Rodriguez said. “Again, just scoop and score.”

Desert Ridge forced yet another fumble on the next Coyotes drive and this time the offense cashed in on Morrison’s first touchdown pass to make it 42-0 at only halftime. Skyline did score two late touchdowns, but the game was well out of hand at that point.

“I think they (Skyline’s players) just lacked the confidence and focus within themselves when it mattered and we made all the mistakes,” Coyotes coach Angelo Paffumi said. “It’s just a mental attitude right now that we’re trying to overcome. The effort is there, but there’s just not enough confidence to execute.”

Score by quarters

Desert Ridge 14 28 14 0 - 56

Skyline 0 0 0 13 - 13

Box score

First Downs- Desert Ridge- 17 Skyline- 14

Rushing- Desert Ridge- 29-225 Skyline-35-210

Comp-Att-Int Desert Ridge-8-11-0 Skyline-1-9-1

Passing yards- Desert Ridge-90 Skyline-16

Fumbles-Lost Desert Ridge 0-0 Skyline 6-5

Penalties-Yards Desert Ridge- 15-110 Skyline- 6-75

Scoring rundown

DR- Morrison 27 run (Solis kick)

DR- Husar 77 run (Solis kick)

DR-Morrison 10 run (Solis kick)

DR- Rodriquez 85 fumble return (Solis kick)

DR- Rodriquez 24 fumble return (Solis kick)

DR- Colson 10 pass from Morrison (Solis kick)

DR- Husar 50 pass from Morrison (Solis kick)

DR- Siamuna 3 run (Solis kick)

S- Avitia 73 run (Willis kick)

S- Castillo 2 run (conversion failed)

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]