Mesquite snapped a three-game losing streak thanks to a dominant performance to defeat visiting Dobson 56-20 in a Division I, Section II game Friday.
“Whoever called us the most disappointing team in the state of Arizona may want to look at the most disappointing schedule in the state of Arizona,” Mesquite coach Matt Gracey said.
“This is a good football team that came out. I was really proud of our kids and our execution.”
In any game Dobson plays, it’s usually TJ Thomas who puts on the show by gathering yard after yard at a breakneck speed.
Not on this night.
The Mesquite running corps showed what they got and amassed a total of 482 yards on the ground.
“It’s just a five-pronged rushing attack and it worked very well,” Gracey said.
Anthony Lopez led the Wildcats (3-3, 2-3) with 233 yards and 4 touchdowns on 21 carries. Lopez exceeded his average of 97 yards in the first quarter alone when he ran for 130 yards.
“Coach definitely wanted me to prove who the better running back was tonight,” Lopez said. “I think tonight proved it.”
On the other side of the ball, Thomas just couldn’t get in a rhythm to turn in one of his usual explosive nights.
“Their linebackers filled well, they just have some tough kids,” Dobson coach Alex Jacobson said.
Thomas rushed for just 84 yards on 11 carries. It continued a season trend of as Thomas goes, so go the Mustangs.
In Dobson’s three wins, Thomas averaged 333 yards; in the three losses he averaged 121.33 yards.
The Mesquite defense set the tone early, forcing the Mustangs (3-3, 1-1) to go three-and-out on their first drives and then picking off Dobson quarterback Gabe Martinez for a touchdown on the fourth.
“Our defense just does a great job,” Gracey said. “We got some really good work today defensively.”
Lopez didn’t see the win as confidence booster for Mesquite, but as a win that sustains the confidence they already coming into the game.
“We got a lot of confidence,” Lopez said. “We had confidence last week in our game versus Hamilton, we played really well, but going back to a win streak is good.”
Dobson ended a up-and-down month with a 2-3 record in the month of September. The Mustangs alternated wins and losses the first three weeks and ended on a 2-game losing streak.
“We’ve got to have guys step up,” Jacobson said. “We’re still going to fight; we didn’t quit. We just tell the kids anything can happen.”