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Gila Ridge shuts out San Luis 47-0
The Gila Ridge Hawks needed just one play to beat the San Luis Sidewinders during their 47-0 homecoming game win Friday.
That one play was when Bobby Mena marched in from 15 yards out after a huge punt return to put Gila Ridge (6-2 overall) ahead for good 7-0. Jordan Klostreich doubled the Hawks' lead with about 15 seconds left in the first quarter on a 20-yard sprint.
“We played good. We didn't make many mistakes and played with intensity,” Hawks coach Jay Denton said. “We executed real well. We ran the ball. We played a pretty complete game. We will try to get better at what we do and that's execute.”
Gila Ridge scored on three of its four possessions in the second quarter. Senior quarterback Scotty Nickerson found Dalon Perkins for a 9-yard touchdown pass. On the first play of the Hawks' next possession, Nickerson blazed down the right sideline 45 yards to pay dirt. Backup quarterback Branden Kehl completed a 46-yard bomb to Perkins to end the scoring assault for the half and put the Hawks up 33-0.
As impressive as Gila Ridge's offense was, its defense was equally dominant. Holding the Sidewinders to just two first downs in the first half — both came on the game's opening drive — the Hawks made sure that San Luis didn't have a single snap in Gila Ridge territory and didn't allow another first down until the fourth quarter.
“We played pretty good. We had lots of rotation. We played pretty strong all the way through. Our O-line did good, our running game was great,” Hawks senior strong safety Christian Offala said. “We just played smart and kept playing good Gila Ridge football.”
The second half didn't go any better for San Luis. After a three-and-out, a blocked punt by Matthew Joynt, a Sidewinder facemask penalty set up a Gila Ridge Jason Pajas rumble down the middle for a 9-yard score.
“Believe it or not, I am pretty happy. Our guys are in a good mood. We dismissed any arguments. We aren't going worry about losses. At the end of the game, our guys were hitting hard. We didn't have a great week in practice. We just gotta have fun and that's what we did,” San Luis coach Mark Shields said. “Our main goal is to keep a positive attitude. We knew they have more weapons, more athletes. We played with the team we have.”
Third-string quarterback Austin Grant scored the final touchdown with a one-yard quarterback sneak with a little over 10 minutes left in the game, giving Gila Ridge the 47-0 victory.
San Luis will host Kofa next week, and Gila Ridge will travel to face in-town rival Cibola.