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Klostreich leads run-game in Gila Ridge win over El Centro-Central
If anyone ever wondered whether or not Gila Ridge head coach Jay Denton likes to run the ball, they can stop wondering.
The Hawks used four different backs Friday night in their 20-17 win over El Centro-Central. The featured back of the night was Jordan Klostreich, who ran for 108 yards, including a second-quarter drive where Denton just kept sending him through the tackles.
“Jordan did a good job,” Denton said. “He really followed his blocking well all night, which was a big plus.”
Klostreich started off slowly with negative-4 yards rushing in the first quarter. But when the Hawks' offense came out to start their second quarter drive, Klostreich pounded 40 yards down the field all the way to the two-yard line, where junior fullback Kanoa Renaud took over and waltzed in two yards for the score, putting Gila Ridge on top 7-3.
Central quarterback Sergio Osuna put the Spartans up quickly, stretching the field and connecting the 30-yard lines with a pass to Jakob Salgado. Two plays later it was the same connection that resulted in a 25-yard touchdown pass to put the game at 10-7.
After a 24-yard touchdown run from Klostreich and another four-yard full back special from Kanoa, the Hawks were sitting pretty up 20-10. That's when they turned up the heat on Osuna.
“We had a good game plan, we felt, and we didn't seem to execute as well as we should have,” said Central head coach Michael Hobbs. “We were missing a lot of blocks. We got our quarterback sacked a bunch of times. It just wasn't working out for us.”
Osuna was sacked four times, including back-to-back sacks in the third quarter. Along with a string of false starts and delay of game penalties, the Central offense looked like it was toast.
That is until a 92-yard touchdown connection from the starter Osuna to back-up quarterback Angel Ramirez pulled the Spartans within three points. Not only did it make the game tighter than it had seemed just 30 seconds before, it doubled Osuna's passing yards from 92 to 184 on the night.
The Spartans got the ball back with a few minutes left in the game, but some questionable clock management by the Spartans ended their night and gave the Hawks their fourth win of the season.
After a couple of tough losses in a row, it was not only important that the Hawks get this win, but how they did it.
“Well, the win is what meant a lot and the way we won has to be a plus,” Denton said. “We had an opportunity to go ahead and move it out. If anything happened, they just kept the game the way it was toward the end. Winning this way is big for us. It helps the players learn how to play in tough situations.”
Up next, Gila Ridge hits the road to take on Yuma High on Oct. 5.