Desert Ridge defeated visiting Skyline, 42-19 on Friday for the Jaguars' sixth consecutive win for the Jaguars.
Skyline began the season 5-0 but has now lost two straight.
Explosive running plays and key third-down stops propelled Desert Ridge (6-1), who fell behind 3-0 midway through the first quarter before scoring 42 unanswered points.
After a five-minute opening drive by Skyline (5-2) ended with a field goal, Desert Ridge immediately responded with a 54-yard touchdown run by Taren Morrison on its first play from scrimmage. The Jaguars' second offensive play resulted in a 60-yard scoring run by junior Justin Irby.
Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock didn’t expect to jump out to such an early lead.
“With the skill that we have it never surprises you (to score that quickly), but that doesn’t happen very much,” he said. “If they stop (those plays) it’s probably a different game.”
While the big runs were the story, Morrison and Irby were consistent in their attack, rushing for 183 and 110 yards, respectively. The offense as a whole was never in much trouble, and only faced three third downs the entire game.
Skyline coach Angelo Paffumi said his defense wasn’t able to execute on the edges.
“We put ourselves in position to make tackles and just didn’t. They beat us every time in one-on-one matchups,” he said.
The Coyotes’ offense was steady, but often succumbed to Desert Ridge’s stiff defense on third and fourth downs, converting only six of their 16 third-down attempts. Skyline’s Francisco Avitia had a good day on the ground, rushing 22 times for 118 yards.
Paffumi’s message to his team was simple following the lopsided loss.
“One way or another we’ve got to scratch and claw and get a couple more (wins),” Paffumi said. “We have the ability to move the ball, but we’ve got to play better on defense.”
For Desert Ridge, the rest of their season features games against Red Mountain, Desert Mountain, and Mountain View, a schedule Hathcock dubbed “the gauntlet.”
“It’s one game at a time,” he said. “We’re a good team, but I wouldn’t say we’re a great team yet. We have to correct the little things and really dive into being students of the game.”
Desert Ridge 42, Skyline 19
First Downs: Skyline 13, Desert Ridge 15
Rushing: Skyline 43-223, Desert Ridge 38-355
Passing (comp.-att.-TD-INT): Skyline 8-17-0-0, Desert Ridge 3-6-0-0
Fumbles-lost: Skyline 1-0, Desert Ridge 3-1
Penalties-yards: Skyline 6-40, Desert Ridge 7-55
Skyline 3 0 0 16 -- 19
Desert Ridge 13 9 13 7 -- 42
Skyline: 32 FG
Desert Ridge: Morrison 54 run (Whitlow kick blocked)
Desert Ridge: Irby 60 run (Whitlow kick)
Desert Ridge: Morrison 10 run (2 pt NG)
Desert Ridge: Whitlow 19 FG
Desert Ridge: Morrison 2 run (Whitlow kick)
Desert Ridge: Irby 12 run (Whitlow kick NG)
Desert Ridge: Itaaehau 1 run (Whitlow kick)
Skyline: Ruppert 6 run (2 pt good)
Skyline: Ruppert 16 run (2 pt good)