Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock knew his team needed to make improvements following a narrow win to open the season last week.
It was clear that the Jaguars made the necessary changes and more, dominating Tucson High School 49-0 on Friday night.
“The most improvement you are going to have is from week one to week two,” Hathcock said. “Last week we didn’t think we were ready for the spread so we had more of a ground-and-pound approach. This week we were ready for the spread and performed well.”
The Jaguars (2-0) wasted little time taking control of the game against the Badgers (1-1).
On the opening kickoff, senior Donjae Logan accelerated through a hole in the Badgers kickoff team before being dragged down at the Tucson 18-yard line. On the very next play, junior quarterback Cooper Schmidt found wide open sophomore Deonce Elliott in the middle of the end zone to put the Jaguars up 7-0.
On the Jaguars next possession, junior running back Lucas Wright found the end zone from 17-yards out, dragging defenders with him as he stretched passed the goal line.
In total, five different Desert Ridge players found the end zone on the night, including two each from senior wide out Caden Bethel and senior running back Tyrese Allen, who tallied 140 all-purpose yards.
“In every aspect, we came out to win,” Allen said. “We out-hustled them and did what we needed to win. It is a great feeling for the team.”
The Jaguars offense never skipped a beat in the first half, even with a different signal caller each drive. Similar to last week, Hathcock elected to alternate between Schmidt and sophomore quarterback Matthew Purnell, and once again, it proved to be effective.
The Jaguars quarterback duo combined for four touchdowns and 225 total passing yards, 195 of which came from Purnell on just seven attempts.
“I have to give it all the credit to my offensive line and the playmakers,” Purnell said. “I just went out there and trusted my guys. I just did what was expected of me.”
Along with the offense, the Jaguars defense was out to prove their toughness against a Tucson squad that totaled 411 yards on offense last week. Drive after drive Desert Ridge forced Tucson punts, only allowing three first downs and just 93 yards of total offense.
The Jaguars overall performance was enough for any team to ride high on momentum. However, Hathcock still remains reluctant on the amount of preparation and focus needed to prepare for a tough matchup with Hamilton next week.
“It shows we are very versatile,” he said. “But, we can’t get too excited for this victory. We can enjoy it today, but tomorrow we have a lot of work cut out for us.”
– Zach Alvira is a freelance writer for MyNewsMesa.com.
Desert Ridge 49, Tucson 0
Tucson 0 0 0 0 – 0
Desert Ridge 28 21 0 0 – 0
DR – Schmidt 18 pass to Elliott (Stephens), 11:46
DR – Wright 17 run (Stephens), 9:52
DR – Purnell 41 pass to Bethel (Stephens), 8:01
DR – Eastman 3 run (Stephens), 5:02
DR – Purnell 57 pass to Allen (Stephens), 8:20
DR – Allen 6 run (Stephens), 5:40
DR – Purnell 45 pass to Bethel (Stephens), :09
First downs 10 3
Rush-yards 25-267 28-84
Comp-Att-Int 10-12-0 3-11-1
Pass yard 238 9
Total yards 505 93
Fumbles/lost 3/3 0/0
Penalties 4-55 5-50
DR – Allen 5-65, Elliott 3-85, Wright 2-44, Schmidt 3-16, Eastman 3-20, Blancas 3-24, Thomas 6-13; TUC – Montano 13-41, Salomon 2-7, Valencia-Crump 2-11, Love 3-17, Lopez 1-1, Garcia 5-12, Reed 2-(-5)
DR – Purnell 7-7-0-195, Schmidt 2-4-0-30, Blancas 1-1-0-13; TUC – Montano 3-11-1-9
DR – Allen 2-55, Elliott 3-77, Bethel 2-86, Wright 1-1, Thomas 1-2, Gomez 1-13; TUC – Mariscal 1-3, Reed 1-(-1), Sandoval 1-7
TUC – Vargas (39)