Williams Field senior running back Braedyn Bushman ran for two touchdowns in the second half to help the Blackhawks secure a 31-7 victory over Show Low on Friday night.
Bushman finished the night with 25 carries for 172 rushing yards and the two rushing touchdowns in the final two quarters, but he and the rest of the Blackhawks offense had a hard time finding the end zone early in the game. Despite dominating the time of possession, the Williams Field offense stalled in the first half because of penalties and turnovers.
“We were just sloppy,” said Williams Field head coach Steve Campbell. “The good news is that they’re things that we can clean up. I think that in game one, there’s a lot of that. There’s a lot of sloppiness. You’re not used to going against other opponents. You’re not used to a lot of the atmosphere and that type of thing.”
The Blackhawks finished the game with 117 total penalty yards. Campbell said he was still content with the performance, especially since it was nine of his starters first varsity game.
When the Williams Field offense did not hinder itself, it had no problem moving the ball down the field, and Bushman said the Blackhawks cleaned up their act in the second half.
“I think really what happened was we just stopped the mental mistakes,” he said. “We stopped doing the little off-sides penalties. We started doing the little things right and we stopped shooting ourselves in the foot with stupid little mistakes.”
Bushman was the main work horse Friday night taking 25 carries. He got the ball more than he expected coming into the game, as fellow senior running back Fabian Ortiz suffered aninjury early in the game and only had one carry.
Campbell said he liked the way Bushman responded to the extra workload Friday.
“Where we see him is he could be a pretty dynamic back for us this year,” Campbell said.
With the offense struggling to find consistency early, the defense stepped up and held the shut out until late in the game when Show Low junior wide receiver Quentin Clark took and end around hand off for a 17-yard touchdown with 2:50 left in the game.
Senior linebacker Garrett Rohde was a consistent tackler all game long, and he grabbed an interception and recorded a sack as well.
“Garrett got his opportunity last year to get playing time because we had some injuries,” Campbell said. “Next thing you know last year, he’s a starting linebacker for us and I think that’s paying for him this year. You know, to have that experience, to have seen game speed at the varsity level, I think that’s really going to play out well for him.”
Williams Field 31 Show Low 7
First downs: WF 19 / SL 10
Rushing: WF 46-260 / SL 27-20
Passing: WF 12-21-226-0-2 / SL 9-32-119-0-2
Fumbles-Lost WF 1-1 / SL 3-0
Penalties WF 14-117 / SL 1-5
WF – 7 3 7 14 – 31
SL – 0 0 0 7 – 7
WF – Junior running back Aaron Mason 15-yard run (Senior kicker Blake Ruiz Kick) 4:30
WF – Ruiz 48-yard field goal 10:21
WF – Bushman 20-yard run (Ruiz kick) 2:18
WF – Bushman 5-yard run (Ruiz kick) 10:34
WF – Senior running back Josh Page 38-yard run (Ruiz kick) 7:34
SL- Clark 17-yard run (Senior kicker Garret Means kick) 2:50