Desert Ridge wins without Becerra - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Desert Ridge wins without Becerra

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Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2011 11:10 pm | Updated: 11:17 pm, Thu Oct 27, 2011.

The Desert Ridge football team's offense is usually high-octane.

Call Thursday's version premium unleaded, because it wasn't as head-turning, but it was still a cut above the rest.

Joey Counts ran for 219 yards and a touchdown and Parker Rasmussen ran for 107 yards, threw for 180 and had four total scores more as the fourth-ranked Jaguars cruised past Anthem Boulder Creek, 38-14, on Thursday night in the regular season finale.

Desert Ridge was without quarterback Jordan Becerra (ankle) and lineman Alex Barrett (shoulder) among others, so it relied heavily on Counts and Rasmussen to get it through this one.

The team ran the ball 56 times for 380 yards to wear down Boulder Creek. No carry went for more than 20 yards.

"We just kind of grinded it out and won ugly," Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock said.

The first half went well, as Desert Ridge scored 28 points and held Boulder Creek scoreless to jump out to the big lead.

Rasmussen found Damani Moseby on an 85-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the game, and the Jaguars didn't look back. The lead was 31-0 early in the third quarter, and Desert Ridge glided in for the victory.

Moseby is one of the team's better defensive players, but made his biggest impact on the offensive side of the ball in this game. He caught a vertical route about 15 yards from the line of scrimmage and then sprinted the last 70 to the end zone.

"I wasn't worried about getting caught," said Moseby, a lineman on defense. "I knew it was wide open spaces."

Becerra didn't play after spraining his ankle on Tuesday. He was dressed out and could have been used if needed.

"I could have played tonight," Becerra said. "I was anxious. It was precautionary. I'll be good to go (next week)."

Barrett's shoulder injury is also not expected to keep him out for the first round of the playoffs. Desert Ridge entered the game as the No. 6 seed in the power point standings, but with four teams above them facing off this week, it should end up as a top-4 seed for the postseason.

Desert Ridge was the No. 10 seed last season and made it to the 5A Division I championship game. Becerra and Counts were the catalysts for that run. Both have battled injuries this year, as has Rasmussen, but all three should be on the field next week for the opening round.

"If we can get healthy, we can be a pretty good team," Hathcock said.

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