At some point, it is going to happen.
As the opposition, it is just a matter of limiting how many times it occurs because Jawhar Jordan is going to bounce it outside and/or make a cut that doesn’t seem physically possible at that speed to break loose.
Desert Ridge did what it could until the Hamilton senior running back created a little bit of wizardry on the way to 247 yards rushing and three scores in a 52-28 loss to the Huskies.
The 5-foot-11, 165-pounder Jordan causes enough problems on his own thanks to Huskies’ line, but the Hamilton passing game is just as difficult to contain with its mismatches on the outside, and Manny Armenta in the slot, thanks to their large receivers and quarterback Tyler Shough’s command of the offense.
“It was just too much,” Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock said. “It’s probably the best offense they’ve ever hard.”
It’s hard to argue after scoring 104 points and producing more than 1,000 yards of offense the last two wins with wins over Red Mountain and the Jaguars, who played with two of its top defenders in Apollo Ta’ase and Ty Miller.
Jordan, who had an 80-yard score called back because of a holding call or he would broke 300 yards, believes the Huskies (3-1) are just getting started.
“We are really coming together as a team away from the field,” said Jordan, who has about 670 yards rushing in four games. “We are believing in each other and that’s what we expect to do every week.”
The Jaguars (2-1) were hanging in at 21-14 in the first half, and forced a punt late in the second quarter, but a running into the kicker penalty gave the ball back to the Huskies.
Hamilton scored on the last play off the half and then opened the third quarter with Shough’s fourth touchdown pass for a 35-14 advantage.
“That’s a senior making that play, and we can’t have that,” Hathcock said of the play on the punt. “If we go into the half down seven, or maybe even tied, it’s a different game. It didn’t happen that way.
“They are a good team. We showed effort, but we’re not at their level right now.”
Senior defensive back Donjae Logan, who did a solid job of containing the 6-foot-5 Tim Lockhart, wants to see how the Jaguars respond.
“We have to come in Monday and look at some things,’ said Logan, who forced a Jordan fumble on the goal line for a touchback. “We played hard, but it wasn’t enough. They are not that much better than us. We have to figure out what the difference is.”
The offense looked good at times, mostly when quarterback Cooper Schmidt was in the game, including the first drive when he connected with Lucas Wright for a 31-yard score, but sustaining drives long enough to score or more importantly keep Hamilton’s offense off the field didn’t happen.
“We can’t have some of the mistakes we had,” Hathcock said. “We can’t have interceptions on first and 10. There are a lot of things we have to eliminate.”
Effort wasn’t a problem, but it didn’t stop senior defensive lineman Christian Medeiros from speaking to his teammates in the team huddle after the game.
“We have to move forward from this, and not backward,” he said. “We have to have good week of practice and learn from this one.”
– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to email@example.com.
Hamilton 52, Desert Ridge 28
DR 7 7 0 14-28
H 14 14 14 10-52
DR – Wright 31 pass from Schmidt (Stephens kick), 9:24
H – Rice 17 pass from Shough (Rusch kick), 5:41
H – Jordan 13 run (Rusch kick), 1:51
DR – Allen 1 run (Stephens kick), 9:13
H – Schenks 40 pass from Shough (Rusch kick), 4:08
H – Lockhart 1 pass Shough (Rusch kick), 0:00.
H – Hilton 16 pass from Shough (Rusch kick), 8:37
DR – Allen 36 run (Stephens kick), 5:34
H – Jordan 45 run (Rusch kick), 2:02
H – Jordan 80 run (Rusch kick), 9:39
H – Rusch 22 FG, 4:43
DR – Elliot 8 pass from Schmidt (Stephens kick), 2:11
First downs 17 21
Rush-yards 40-141 31-312
Com-Att-Int 12-24-2 16-28-0
Pass yard 148 279
Total yards 289 591
Pen-yards 8-60 9-81
Fumble/lost 0-0 1-1
DR – Allen 9-61, Elliot 3-1, Schmidt 14-45, Logan 3-25, Wright 3-25, Purnell 5-(-)17. Ham – Jordan 21-247, Armenta 6-60, Parson 3-7, Shough 1-(-)2.
DR – Schmidt 10-19-0-126, Purnell 2-5-2-22. Ham – Shough 16-28-0-279.
DR -Eastman 5-67, Elliott 3-32, Bethel 1-8, Wright 2-36, Lipford 1-4. Ham – Lockhart 3-20, Rice 3-82, Armenta 3-55, Schenks 4-89, Jordan 1-6, Hilton 1-16, Parson 1-11.