Another test passed with flying colors for young Desert Ridge and possibly more questions for Mountain View after only week two.
The Jaguars changed up slightly from the option-powered offense used in their season-opening rout last week, but the result wasn’t any different in a 45-23 win over the visiting Toros.
Sophomore quarterback Tarek Morrison continued his progression from the first week. He ran for 172 yards, the sparkler being a 90-yard score in the first quarter in which he simply broke through the line and went straight up the middle to give Desert Ridge a 21-0 lead. He also scored the fourth Jaguar touchdown.
“I’ve had a bunch of mistakes but since this is my first year, I think I’ve done pretty good,” said Morrison, who has nearly 400 yards rushing in his first two games.
But the night may have belonged to J.J. Husar, who went up the middle himself for 72 yards on the Jaguars’ second possession and finished the night with 163 yards on 14 carries and three rushing touchdowns. He also caught a 37-yard TD pass from Morrison late in the first period.
“They wanted to blitz outside so we wanted to run it up the gut on them, the O-line did everything right,” Husar said.
As opposed to week one, during which Morrison created most of the offense with the option, in week two, Desert Ridge came out in a spread. They didn’t end up throwing the ball much but didn’t have to with Morrison and Husar gaining so many yards on the ground. Early, they ran between the tackles and broke into the open. Later, they mixed it up and ran to sustain drives.
“I have a lot of confidence in my linemen,” Morrison said. “We tried to switch it up but we stick to the basics and that’s what led to the win.”
Waiting in the wings is Morrison’s twin brother, Taren, a running back who has sat out the first two weeks with an ankle injury. Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock is hopeful the other Morrison can be ready within the next two weeks.
“We held their first team (offense) to seven points before we put our backups in,” Hathcock said. “We turned the ball over four times so if we can clear up some mistakes, I really feel like we are a good football team.”
Desert Ridge led 28-0 before a missed assignment allowed Mountain View’s backup quarterback, John Clark, to find A.J. Montalvo wide open on the sideline as he raced for a 75-yard score.
Otherwise, starting quarterback Chase Funk had little success as he switched off with Clark for the next several series. Clark engineered the late scoring drives, connecting with Weston Birtcher over the middle that Birtcher turned into a 65-yard touchdown with 2:17 remaining. Clark was 16-of-32 for 227 yards and one interception.
Mountain View coach Chad DeGrenier said he envisions Clark and Funk both playing quarterback and Funk even lined up as a wide receiver late in the game.
Funk was the Mountain View starter all of 2011 and took most of the snaps in last week’s season-opening loss to Desert Mountain.
“We have two good quarterbacks, we have two good athletes, we have to use them,” DeGrenier said. “You saw that (Friday). It’s going to be a dual quarterback threat in the backfield.”
The second-year Toro coach also said he felt his team made some progress against Desert Ridge.
“You can see us at times, we execute and it’s like, wow, boom,” he said. “We’re right there, we just have to take that next step and we fought back in the fourth quarter.”
Friday wasn’t without flaws for Desert Ridge, which fumbled twice, threw two interceptions and had 12 penalties, including a couple ill-advised personal foul calls.
But going into its games against Highland and Hamilton the next two weeks, respectively, the Jaguars have confidence.
Desert Ridge 45, Mountain View 23
MV 0 7 0 16 – 23
DR 21 14 7 3 – 45
First Downs: MV 12, DR 16
Rushes-yards: MV 23-54; DR 41-374
Passing yards: MV 264, DR 117
Passing: MV, 19-48-3; DR 7-14-2
Fumbles-Lost: MV 1-0, DR 2-2
Penalties: MV 4-20, DR 12-107
DR- Husar 72 run (Solis kick)
DR- Husar 37 pass from Morrison (Solis kick)
DR- Morrison 90 run (Solis kick)
DR- Morrison 13 run (Solis kick)
MV- Montalvo 75 pass from Clark (Bustillos kick)
DR- Husar 5 run (Solis kick)
DR- Husar 19 run (Solis kick)
DR- Solis 33 FG
MV- Clark 1 run (Williams pass from Clark)
MV- Birtchter 65 pass from Clark (Clark run)