Basha rolls over Casa Grande in Busken debut - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Basha rolls over Casa Grande in Busken debut

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Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 11:50 pm | Updated: 3:34 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Trying to stop Chandler Basha was an exercise in futility for the Casa Grande on Friday night.

The Bears barreled their way to a 36-0 victory in a Class 5A non-region game, gaining 503 total yards to 99 for Casa Grande (0-2).

The numbers were telling: Basha piled up 31 first downs while the Cougars were held to four.

Running on 57 of their 66 offensive plays, the Bears finished with 398 yards rushing.

"We've got a big, strong line and our backs are pretty good, so we wanted to run it,''  Basha coach Bernie Busken said.

Busken returned to the Valley sidelines Friday since he was forced out at Mountain View after leading the Toros to three state championships from 1995-2001.

"We were just worried about doing things right (in the team's season debut). We got sloppy a few times, but it was good to play against somebody else."

Casa Grande coach Keith Brown was impressed with Basha's physicality.

"That is a great football team," he said. "Their line was unbelievable. The way they come off the ball is the way we have to learn to come off the ball."

As in last week's game against Gilbert Perry, the Cougars were holding their own until a late second-quarter collapse put them in a huge hole. Basha led only 7-0 before scoring 21 points in the final 4:33 to take a 28-0 halftime lead.

The Cougars punted after going three-and-out on the game's first series, but Basha fumbled on the return and Casa Grande's Zack Gutierrez recovered at the Basha 47. A 9-yard pass from Anthony Mitchell to Tramel Jones gave the Cougars a first down -- their only one of the half -- at the 33 before the drive ended at the 28 on a fourth-down interception in the end zone.

The Bears then marched 80 yards for a touchdown in 11 plays, all but 3 yards coming on the ground. The drive ended on Kyle Duran's 1-yard quarterback sneak with 2:53 remaining in the first quarter.

Jones returned the ensuing kickoff 78 yards to the Basha 12. But on fourth-and-2, Jack Miller was stopped 3 inches short of a first down. The Cougars never made it past their 41 in the second half.

"I was very pleased with the defense, because you never know," Busken said.

Basha took a 14-0 lead by driving 70 yards in three plays -- runs of 52, 12 and 6 yards by Quinten Del Re, who rushed for 120 of his 124 total yards in the first half.

Following a Casa Grande punt, Myles Smith had a 5-yard TD run to cap a five-play, 63-yard drive that extended the Bears' lead to 21-0 with 1:32 left in the second quarter.

After recovering a Casa Grande fumble at the CG 49 with 1:11 remaining in the half, Basha scored on a 29-yard pass from Kyle Duran to Dejzon Walker with 35 seconds left before halftime.

The Bears second-half points came on a safety with 8:43 left in the third quarter and a 4-yard TD run by Matt Horton with 6:14 remaining in the third that capped a seven-play, 55-yard drive following the free kick.

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