Player and coach alike smiled, keenly aware of how a dominant performance has set up a for-all-the-marbles matchup next week against a rival.
Chandler Valley Christian had many stars in a 46-23 romp against previously-unbeaten Phoenix Northwest Christian on Friday night. One of them, Jimmy Oum, was more than diplomatic in his assessment of the upcoming regular-season finale against Scottsdale Christian for the 2A Central Region championship.
“If we put our hearts out there again, we’ll come out with a win,” Oum said.
His coach, Bill Morgan, also had nothing but good things to say about Scottsdale Christian (and Northwest Christian), but he’s been through a couple of these to know there’s little reason to be passive.
No need to now, not after the Trojans (6-2, 4-0) put on a showcase of what this young team has learned to do best: Play defense and run the ball.
Oum, generously listed at 5-foot-7 and blessed with generous amounts of speed, began the game with a 40-yard touchdown run, added a 60-yard score a couple minutes later, and the Trojans ran downhill after that.
Blake Argo got in on the long-distance action as well, as Valley Christian had four runs of 40-plus yards in the first half.
It added up to 452 yards rushing on the night, of which 307 and five touchdowns came between Oum and Argo (13 carries, 184 yards, three scores).
“We owe it all to the offensive line,” Oum said. “They’re No. 1. Then it’s on me to do the rest.”
Much like Scottsdale Christian did against the Crusaders (8-1, 3-1) a couple weeks prior, the Trojans felt they could score points in bunches.
The question was could they contain a spread-em-out offense rare in Class 2A.
They couldn’t against Yuma Catholic earlier this season, but they did this time. After Northwest Christian flew down the field on its first possession of the night, Valley Christian picked off three passes, shutting down the Crusaders’ running game.