Perhaps in the only moment that Saguaro offense looked vulnerable was on a punt return.
Christian Kirk caught the ball, dipped back a few yards and got a better look. He stiff-armed another player, and lost another 10 yards; but one Charger clutched his jersey, and wouldn’t let go.
That’s when Kirk planted his left leg, pivoted, spun, and changed the field on McClintock, racing 54 yards for a touchdown.
“I know in these games we’re playing well and we’re executing that I have just got to make plays,” he said. “So whenever I get the ball — and I don’t get the ball a lot — but I try to make the most of it, so that’s why I was trying to look for something extra.”
It was just that kind of night for Kirk, who notched five touchdowns in the 56-0 win against McClintock.
He later mystified the Chargers with a similar catch — this time surrounded by McClintock defenders on one sideline, he ducked and sprinted across the field so that his quarterback Luke Rubenzer could block him for a 56-yard jaunt to the end zone.
“I know he’ll put his body out on the line for me and I’d do the same for him,” Kirk said. “He’s always good about that stuff; when he sees somebody coming around the corner, he’s always good about coming out and blocking. He takes a lot of pride in that.”
Rubenzer put on his own clinic, logging a 12-for-15 performance and 297 total yards.
But it was Saguaro’s line that suffocated any fresh air McClintock could get. The Chargers were held to only 10 yards of total offense.
“They’ve been dominant running the ball, I know they were hamstrung without their starting quarterback, and that affected their run game, but the key to beating McClintock is stopping their run game,” said coach Jason Mohns.
McClintock lost starting QB Dominic Orona in the third quarter of last week’s loss to Queen Creek and junior Nate Estada, who went 4-for-9 with 27 yards in the air, filled in his stead.
However, with a safety and touchdowns added from Isaiah Reece in the first half, proved too much for the Chargers, who ended the game by watching Kare’ Lyles punch an 8-yard TD.
“We have a tactical view of our schedule and right now — Tempe, Queen Creek, Saguaro, Williams Field all in a row — that’s a nice little gauntlet,” said coach Matthew Lewis. “Next week, whether we play our quarterback or not, I don’t know. But, it really comes down to if he’s 100 percent … Why play him in this game and jeopardize next week and the weeks following? It’s a tactical move on our part.”
Saguaro 56, McClintock 0
First Downs: Saguaro 15, McClintock 2
Rushing: Saguaro 29-236, McClintock 28- -17
Passing (comp.-att.-TD-INT): Saguaro 12-17, 173 yards-2 TD, 0 INT, McClintock 4-9, 27 yards 0 TD, O INT
Fumbles-lost: Saguaro 1-0, McClintock 2-1
Penalties-yards: Saguaro 10-113, McClintock 5-45
McClintock 0 0 0 0—0
Saguaro 9 28 13 6—56
S- Kirk 3 pass from Rubenzer (Tjaarda kick)
S-Kirk 1 run (Tjaarda kick)
S-Kirk 54 punt return (Tjaarda kick)
S-Rubenzer 21 run (Tjaarda kick)
S-Reece 5 run (Tjaarda kick)
S-Kirk 56 run (kick failed)
S-Kirk 9 pass from Rubenzer (Tjaarda kick)
S-Lyles 8 run (no kick attempt)