After a lackluster first half, Paradise Valley needed only 17 seconds to seize control of its Class 4A-I nonregion game against Lake Havasu.
Ebenezer Makinde returned Lake Havasu’s second-half kickoff for a touchdown and the Trojans rolled to a 35-7 victory Friday night.
“We came back out of the locker room feeling good and all of a sudden, boom,” Lake Havasu coach Kris Garry said. “I think that hurt our psyche more than it should have.”
Lake Havasu (1-1) totaled only 28 yards in the second half, punting three times and losing a fumble. Paradise Valley (2-0), ranked third in 4A-, padded its lead with 10- and 1-yard touchdown runs by Jake Brown. The Trojans controlled the line of scrimmage after holding a modest 12-7 lead at the half.
Junior Tyree Parker carried 16 times for 120 yards for Paradise Valley, while David Godley added 89 yards on 11 carries, four catches for 27 yards and the game’s first touchdown. Brown totaled 34 yards on five carries.
“They’re really good runners,” lineman Craig Lazenby said. “Once we set the blocks, they take it to the house.”
Lazenby also had a sack and a fumble recovery on defense as part of a Trojans front that didn’t allow dangerous Knights back Brent Michaels to break loose.
Michaels – who ran for 1,939 yards last year and 236 yards and five scores last week against El Mirage Dysart – ran for 108 yards on 21 carries, but the Trojans didn’t allow him to break any runs longer than 11 yards.
“I think they did a good job of not giving up the big one,” Garry said. “They’re one of the best teams in the state. They play defense, they’re fast and they tackle well.”
Lake Havasu scored with 2:11 remaining in the second quarter on a 3-yard pass from Eric Prater to Dylan Olson. Prater threw for 75 yards. Trojans quarterback Kevin Spain was 10-of-15 passing for 99 yards and did not throw an incompletion in the second half.
Danny Compton kicked field goals of 46 and 42 yards for Paradise Valley and all seven of his kickoffs easily went for touchbacks.
“He’s our best defender, without a doubt,” Trojans coach Donnie Yantis said. “When you’re giving them an 80-yard field every time, that’s where you want to be.”