In less than one half, Paradise Valley erased a painful memory that had festered for an entire year. Last season the Trojans suffered a frustrating loss to 5A Desert Valley Region-rival Phoenix North Canyon.
“We wanted to get back at this team real bad," Paradise Valley fullback Matt Clapp said. “We needed to pound them.''
Paradise Valley felt a little bit better after Thursday's 37-13 home victory over the Rattlers. It was a dominating performance for the No. 2-ranked Trojans (4-0, 1-0 region), who led 34-7 at the break in the region opener for both schools.
“That game really hurt us last year,'' Paradise Valley coach Donnie Yantis said.
“We felt like they took the region banner away from us.''
Clapp and tailback Aazaad Muhammad were outstanding against the Rattlers' defense whether they ran inside or outside. Clapp finished with 212 yards on 26 carries and three touchdowns, and Muhammad had 188 yards on 21 carries and one touchdown.
“Wow,'' Clapp said.
“I don't think that's ever been done here,'' Yantis said.
The duo combined for more than 300 yards rushing in the first half alone.
Paradise Valley had 446 yards on the ground and 500 yards of total offense. The Trojans had 27 first downs.
Clapp gave all the credit to the Trojans’ offensive line, which like Clapp and Muhammad, has gained plenty of varsity experience the last two years. Yantis calls the offensive line the backbone of the Paradise Valley offense.
In four games, Paradise Valley running backs have had five 100-yard games. With their improved passing attack, the Trojans are an imposing offense for other defenses to handle.
Clapp scored three first-half touchdowns, the longest a 28-yard run. Muhammad added an 11-yard scoring run, and quarterback Ryan Barela hit wide receiver Andrew Leahy on a 16-yard touchdown pass with 2.8 seconds left in the first half.
Paradise Valley added only a field goal in the second half, but its ball-control offense kept the Rattlers' offense off the field for much of the remainder of the game.
North Canyon (2-2, 0-1) had just one first down after halftime, and its only second-half score was a 70-yard interception return by Jeremy Belt in the third quarter.