There wasn’t much secret to Higley’s offensive plan. Stopping it was another matter.
The Knights unleashed a potent 1-2 punch of Mythias Young and Thomas Bush out of its option that proved too much for visiting Casa Grande Vista Grande to handle as Higley rushed to a 38-6 win on Friday night.
Young had more than 100 yards rushing in the first half when the Knights (3-2) seized a 15-6 lead. But his biggest play may have come on the opening kickoff of the second half when Young recovered an onside kick that gave Higley a short field. The drive was capped when the senior back connected with Cole Cook for a 19-yard scoring play.
“The kids were animated at halftime, and we were in the game,” Vista Grande coach Carlo Hernandez said. “Then that (onside kick) happened. It takes the air out of you. From that point on, we were playing catch-up.”
The Spartans (1-4) did an excellent job of controlling Young’s rushes in the second half — he had 135 yards at halftime and minus-6 in the second half. And then Bush took over. The senior tailback gained 139 of his team-leading 171 yards in the second half to help the Knights control the clock. Higley finished with 315 yards on the ground and 407 yards of total offense.
“That’s the way it has been all year,” Higley coach Eddy Zubey said. “We run the option and try to control the ball. When we are successful, we win. Also, I thought our defense did great. They have allowed six offensive touchdowns all season, four on a short field.”
Vista Grande’s TD came on a short field after Anthony Hernandez recovered a first-quarter fumble at the Knights' 39. After Sergio Iruegas ran 26 yards on a reverse to put the Spartans in the red zone, Patrick Amerson connected with Tevon Mitchell on an 11-yard scoring play that drew VG within 7-6.
The Knights responded with a 78-yard drive that featured a 25-yard completion from Young to Trent Gilbert and Young’s 39-yard scamper. Young capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge — his second TD of the quarter.
With Vista Grande in catch-up mode after the first drive of the second half, Amerson found himself running away from defenders. He threw one interception that was returned for a 57-yard fourth-quarter touchdown by Corey Strnad, but by then the Knights had a sizable lead and were able to gamble on defense.
“They have some playmakers that keep you on your heels,” Hernandez said of Higley. “They do just enough to keep defenses guessing.”