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Mitchell, Raiders blow out Criminals
The scoreboard displayed a 49-0 final, but Yuma High coach Tom Fox saw something different.
Despite the lopsided win for the Raiders at Cibola Friday, Fox saw hope.
“It's just tough for us to compete,” Fox said. “In my mind, they did OK coming out and fighting hard. There was a lot of improvement. It won't show on the scoreboard, a lot of people that don't play sports won't understand it, and the people who do, do. We were just outmatched. They're a superior opponent — there's nothing you can do.”
Jordan Mitchell of the Raiders ran for 140 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries, the Raiders (2-1) outgained the Criminals (1-2) 277-78 and most of the second half was played with a running clock after Cibola went up 42-0 on Mitchell's final carry of the night, an 11-yard run, with 8:37 left in the third quarter.
Mitchell also had touchdown runs of 12 yards and 20 yards and a touchdown catch of 24 yards negated because of Cibola penalties.
“We executed a lot better than we did the first couple games, so we're improving each week,” Cibola coach Lucky Arvizo Sr. said. “We still had several miscues on penalties, which is still something we need to make sure we fix, but aside from that, as far as executing on plays, we did a little better.”
The first play of the game was a 49-yard touchdown run by Mitchell up the right side. On most of his runs, he had little problems shaking off the first wave of Criminal tacklers.
“I don't know why we didn't want any part of tackling of Jordan Mitchell,” Fox said. “We just did not want to tackle him for some reason. Other than that, some facets of our game were much improved. We're still going to win a lot of ballgames before the season's over, but it just doesn't show because they're that much better than us.”
Fox said he saw improvement in the passing game and the defensive secondary. Criminals quarterback Jeremy Conde completed four of his 16 attempts for 22 yards. He did throw one interception, which was returned 70 yards by Michael Campos for a touchdown.
Cibola quarterback Lucky Arvizo Jr. attempted 16 passes — 21 if sacks and an intentional grounding call are factored in — and completed four of them for 79 yards. Three of the completions were to Michael Decorse-Hall, and two of those were touchdowns of 23 yards each.
“We have some young receivers out there, and we're trying to get the quarterback-receiving timing down,” Arvizo Sr. said. “We came in wanting to work on that a little bit. We still have to improve on the timing there, and with a little more work each week we'll continue to improve in that aspect.”
The Raiders also got a strong performance out of kicker Edgar Gastelum, who connected on all seven of his extra points and had six of his seven kicks go into - or out the back of - the end zone for touchbacks.
Gastelum has not kicked a field goal this year, but Arvizo Sr. said he has hit from 50 yards in practice.
"He's a great weapon to have," Arvizo Sr. said. "On kickoffs he can start the team on the 20 and take away their ability to run it back.That's always a plus. It's a little comforting to know he can kick it into the end zone."