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Pride's tailback tandem too much for Raider defense
Joey Pimentel did his best Brandon Hall impression Friday night.
With Cibola's star running back sidelined with a knee injury, Pimentel filled in and racked up 115 yards on 21 carries by halftime.
But the Raiders couldn't overcome early miscues or Mountain Pointe's explosive tailback tandem of Marquese and Markus Wheaton and fell 42-8 at Cibola.
"Whenever there is a player who isn't playing, you always miss him. In this case, it was Brandon Hall," Cibola coach Lucky Arvizo said. "But it takes more than one individual. We made some mistakes, had some turnovers and gave up some big plays. Against a good team like Mountain Pointe, you can't afford to do that."
Arvizo added that he's unsure about the severity of Hall's injury or a timetable for his return.
The Wheaton brothers combined to rush for 226 yards - 164 for Marquese and 62 for Markus - and five total touchdowns. Each ran for a pair of scores, and Marquese returned an interception 60 yards to paydirt during the last two minutes of the game.
"The Wheaton kids did a great job. They're a big part of this football team," Mountain Pointe coach Phil Abbadessa said. "They start both ways for us, and tonight I rotated them a little bit at running back. We've had a lot of success with them this year."
Mountain Pointe's (4-2) opportunistic defense and special teams play put Cibola in an early first-quarter hole.
The Raiders (3-3) coughed up the football on the game's opening drive. Mountain Pointe defensive back Branson Ramirez recovered Cibola quarterback Scott Stover's fumble and returned it 43 yards to the Cibola 1-yard line, setting up Markus Wheaton's first touchdown.
The Pride later blocked a punt that was picked up by Will Clay and taken into the end zone to push Mountain Pointe's lead to 21-0 in the first quarter.
Pimentel finished with 122 yards on the ground. He saw limited action in the second half with the game out of hand. Cibola wide receiver Anthony Chavira added 71 yards of total offense. He ran the reverse five times for 36 yards and caught three passes for 35.
The Cibola offense only reached the red zone once. That drive stalled at the Mountain Pointe 3, but the Raiders defense forced a three-and-out and the snap on the ensuing punt sailed through the end zone for a safety.
Cibola's touchdown came midway through the fourth quarter when Mountain Pointe quarterback Adel Begaied fumbled the ball during a sack. Cibola defensive lineman Ben Suarez scooped it up and ran it back 55 yards.
"We're just going to have to go back and regroup," Arvizo said. "It's one of those games where you just have to learn from it and get ready for the following week."
The Raiders will hit the road next week to take on Phoenix-North, before returning to Yuma Oct. 9 to open up the 5A Gila Valley Region schedule at Yuma High.
Derrik Miller can be reached at
email@example.com or 782-6520.