Friday Flashback: Looking back at Week 3
Cibola is throwing ball more these days, and it’s not the dinking and dunking a lot of high schools try, eschewing the deep ball for high percentage screens.
Lucky Arvizo Jr. is throwing deep. He has plenty of targets. And he and the Raiders are succeeding.
Arvizo Jr.’s performance Friday in a 35-20 win over Calexico brought the senior to 923 passing yards on the year. He threw his first interception of the year but added two more touchdowns to bring his total to eight.
He’s completed almost 60 percent of his passes despite the Raiders vertical pass game. Michael DeCorse-Hall is averaging 28.1 yards per reception on his 10 grabs this year. Noah Thompson has a 21.9 yards per catch average on his eight grabs, and Caleb Villapudua has just four catches, but 128 yards for an average gain of 32 per reception.
On Friday, Villapudua scored on a 52-yard catch from Arvizo Jr. Lined up in the slot, Villapuada ran straight up the middle of the field, got just enough separation from his defender and caught the ball perfectly in stride for the score.
In all, six of Arvizo Jr.’s 16 completions were for 30 or more yards.
“I thought we did a pretty decent job of executing offensively,” Cibola coach Lucky Arvizo Sr. said. “Our line gave good protection to Lucky and he was able to get some good throws. Our receivers ran good routes and were able to get some separation. We worked on getting separation all week and they gave Lucky some good windows to get into.”
Rams on best roll in 3 years
On Oct. 2, 2009, the Antelope Rams beat Bourgade Catholic 34-0. The next week, they beat Phoenix Christian 28-7. That was the last time the Rams won in back to back weeks.
That changed Friday, when the Rams beat Paradise Honors 26-7 in Wellton a week after a 20-6 win in San Luis.
The win over the Sidewinders was a close one, but the win Friday wasn’t so much. The Rams scored the first 26 points, returned an interception for a touchdown and got an efficient 6 for 11, 104-yard passing game from Beto Castro, who was hurt last week against the Sidewinders.
The win puts the Rams at 2-1 under first-year coach Gary Mauldin, who said there is still a lot of improvement to be made. The combined record for Honors and San Luis is 0-6, and there are October games against state powers Yuma Catholic and Northwest Christian looming on the schedule. The Rams opened with a 49-6 loss to Phoenix Christian.
“We have four seniors, so we’re very young,” Mauldin said. They’re still trying to adjust to my offensive scheme. Plus there’s a new defensive coordinator and a new defensive scheme. It’s only Week 3 and there’s a long way to go. It’s still nice to get two wins in a row.”
Maybe this is why there’s no Thursday football
Friday was the 13th, but Thursday the 12th was more scary for the three Yuma County football teams that were in action.
Kofa, San Luis and Yuma hit the road for early games in Week 3 and the results weren’t good. Kofa fared the best of the three, keeping things close for a half before losing 44-0 at Tucson-Desert View. Next week they face Sahuaro.
“I liked Tucson so much I decided to come back next week,” Kofa coach John Blabe said with a laugh after his team’s loss Thursday.
Yuma High lost 55-0 to Tucson High and will be at Calipatria Friday followed by a home game against El Central-Southwest, which won two games last year, one by forfeit. The Crims won last year’s meeting 15-14.
“The competition and talent these first three weeks has been really high,” coach Curt Weber said. “Now we get into a more favorable part of the schedule.”
Weber said the Badgers were an incredible fast team, which was San Luis coach Doug Thompson’s assessment of Phoenix-North, to whom the Sidewinders fell 67-0 on Thursday.
“We just have to get back to our side of the state is what it amounts too,” Thompson said.
The Sidewinders will face Parker in San Luis on Friday, looking to avoid their 50th straight loss.
Soaring Eagle offense not enough
In a late reported score Friday of a non-AIA game, Harvest Prep lost a home shootout to Orme 70-56 in an eight-man game.
There were plenty of stats to go around. Kyler Martin did a little bit of everything – 115 receiving yards and a score and 222 return yards, one for a score. He also returned a fumble for a TD. MJ Ybarra completed 20 of 30 passes for 229 yards. Ruben Anaya grounded out 223 yards on 26 carries, plus added 43 yards passing. He had nine tackles, trailing only Esteban Sanchez’s 12.
The Eagles play at Apache Trail on Friday.
Player of the Night
After a rough night passing in Week 2, Yuma Catholic quarterback Jagan Cleary went 18 for 22 with 269 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in the Shamrocks’ 59-7 thrashing of previously unbeaten Kingman Academy of Learning.
Stat of the Night
With wins by Yuma Catholic and Antelope on Friday, the three small division AIA schools improve to 6-2 overall – San Pasqual is 2-0 and had a bye. The five large schools are a combined 1-14.
Tweet of the Night
A weekly look at what the Twittershpere is saying about Yuma football. This week’s quote is a simple one from Cibola lineman Nathaniel Campos.
“Got our win!”
@Natsixthree, 10:09 p.m. Friday
Around the state
Marcos de Niza continued its offensive onslaught, making the 56 points the Padres scored in each of the first two weeks look like a slump. They allowed 57 to Buena, but it didn’t really matter since they put up 78.
Thatcher followed its win over YC with a 28-21 win over Safford, the first loss of the year for the Bulldogs. And Sunnyside, which is looming on Cibola’s schedule in two weeks, lost 46-0 to Salpointe.
Gila Ridge coach Tom Hurt has a decision on his hands.
For the past three seasons, junior Brandon Kehl has been a quarterback for the Hawks’ program and it looked like he was ready to take the reins this season. But with the Hawks’ offense struggling, Hurt decided to experiment with Kehl as a running back – and the result was a 144-yard rushing performance, including seven carries of 10 yards or more. He also scored the only Gila Ridge touchdown of the season on an 8-yard carry in the fourth quarter.
With a 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame, Kehl certainly is a bruiser who could be best suited in the backfield. But as a junior, if the long-term plan is for Kehl to be the quarterback at least his senior season, is it wise to play him at running back this year, instead?
Late in the game, with Gila Ridge driving, I was on the sidelines and could hear Kehl, lined up as the running back, barking out orders and directing the Hawks’ offense.
“I still got that quarterback mentality,” he said. “We tried to call an audible and nobody was hearing it so I just yelled it out.”
You can take the boy out of the quarterback but you can’t take the quarterback out of the boy, I suppose.
Two years ago, Antelope’s coach at the time, John Blabe, dubbed the game against San Luis the 0-fer Bowl.
In reality, that turned out to be a falsehood that year – the Rams went on to win one more game. But it was a reality last year as the only win on the Antelope schedule was a win against the Sidewinders.
This year, the name will once again not apply thanks to Antelope’s Week 3 win. It’s been a rough year so far for football in the area, but the Rams show – even if two wins weren’t exactly against Marcos de Niza – that there’s always reason to be an optimist.
Now, if only San Luis can do something about its losing streak. A loss to Parker and it hits 50, 16 shy of Carl Hayden’s record – or at least, what is believed to be the record. A record, for the record, that was snapped against the Sidewinders.
Brawley has jumped out to a 2-1 start to the season as they roll into Yuma to face Cibola. Gila Ridge’s brief stay at home ends as they play their third road game of the year, at Mesa-Westwood, which is 2-1. The road for the Kings doesn’t get any easier as they head back to Tucson to face Sauharo, a Top 10 team.