Desert Ridge's Morrison steals show against Mesa - East Valley Tribune: Scoreboard

Desert Ridge 41, Mesa 17 Desert Ridge's Morrison steals show against Mesa

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Posted: Saturday, October 5, 2013 12:06 am | Updated: 3:16 pm, Mon Oct 7, 2013.

Desert Ridge tailback Taren Morrison stole the show once again for the second ranked Jaguars.

Coming off a four touchdown game against Brophy last week, the junior matched his scoring performance against Mesa, piling up 376 yards in a 41-17 victory over the Jackrabbits in a Division I, section III contest Friday night.

Desert Ridge overcame a shaky start before Morrison came to the rescue with touchdown runs of 58, 27, 87, and 85 yards. Three of Morrison’s scores came in the second half, and helped Desert Ridge finally shake off a scrappy Mesa squad that led early in the contest.

“Mesa played extremely hard, but we knew they would,” said Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock. “You have to give credit to them. They came out swinging, but our kids played hard and hung in there.”

Desert Ridge (5-1, 1-0) took the opening kickoff and saw several big plays called back due to penalties. After finally turning the ball over on downs, Mesa’s offense went to work.

Behind the hard running of Javier Martinez, Mesa was able to put together a methodical scoring drive that chewed up nearly 10 minutes of time.

Mesa running back Draven Taylor scored from two yards out on the first play of the second quarter, giving the Jackrabbits a 7-0 lead and plenty of momentum.

But that’s when the Desert Ridge offense put its speed and power on display. After Taren Morrison’s first touchdown run, Desert Ridge struck again quickly on a three-play drive that covered 51 yards. Nathanial Rodriguez scored from 9 yards with 52 seconds left until halftime, giving the Jaguars a 13-7 cushion at the break.

In the second half, Desert Ridge and Morrison pulled away, as Mesa’s offense was held in check most of the half. Mesa kicker Noe Pereles booted a 42-yard field goal late in the third quarter that pulled Mesa within 10 points (20-10), but Taren Morrison put things out of reach with touchdown runs of 87 and 85 yards for the Jaguars.

“He is electric,” Hathcock said of Morrison, whose twin brother Tarek leads the Desert Ridge offense from his quarterback spot. “He’s been running the ball great for us, and he’s a threat to score any time he touches the ball.”

Nathaniel Rodriguez added a 39-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter for Desert Ridge.

Mesa (3-3, 1-2) will travel to Red Mountain next week. Desert Ridge will host Skyline.



Desert Ridge 41, Mesa 17

First Downs: DR 14, Mesa 9

Rushing: DR 31-361, Mesa 27-113

Passing (Comp.Att.-TD-INT): DR 3-7-42-0-0, Mesa 2-8-44-1-0

Fumbles-lost: DR 3-1, Mesa 2-1

Penalties-yards: DR 11-105, Mesa 4-40



Desert Ridge   0  13 14 14 -- 41

Mesa                7   0    3   7  -- 17



Mesa: Taylor 2 yd run (Pereles kick)

DR: Taren Morrison 58 yd run (Whitlow kick)

DR: Rodriguez 9 yd run (run failed)

DR: Taren Morrison 27 yd run (Whitlow kick)

Mesa: Pereles 42 yd FG

DR: Taren Morrison 85 yd run (Whitlow kick)

DR: Taren Morrison 85 yd run (Whitlow kick)

Mesa: Pietz Noble 38 yd run (Pereles kick)

DR: Rodriguez 39 yd fumble return (Whitlow kick)

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