The Horizon football team came out quicker than Nala, its two-year old Siberian Husky mascot which leads the team out of the tunnel to start the first and second halves.
On Homecoming Night Friday, the Huskies won their fourth in a row, a 63-34 romp of Scottsdale Desert Mountain. Horizon scored on the game’s first play and answered a Wolves TD with a two-play touchdown drive.
Junior quarterback Dalton Sneed threw five first-half touchdown passes and scored another on a keeper to lead his club to a 42-21 halftime lead. In the first half, Sneed was 12-for-13 for 366 yards.
He finished 16-of-20 for 449 yards.
“Our offense was incredible,” said Horizon coach Kris Heavner, whose club improves to 4-1. “I know (most people) just see us on Fridays, but from Saturday to Thursday, they come to work every single day with their hard hats and lunch pales.”
It was bad timing for the Wolves. They not only were facing a Horizon team that came in averaging 51 points per game, they were doing it extremely short-handed. Six starters, some that play on both sides of the ball, including standout Mark Andrews, were out with injuries.
“I’m not going to take any credit away from (Horizon),” said Desert Mountain coach Tony Tabor. “They’ve been putting points on the board. We’re going to have to fight back. There’s a lot of football to still be played this season."
Tabor said some of his injured Wolves, including Andrews, who has committed to the University of Oklahoma, should be able to return next week when his club takes on Mesa Red Mountain.
Sneed threw three of his touchdown passes to senior receiver Spencer Marciniak. Senior running back Luke Quinn caught one touchdown pass and rushed for three more in the second half.
Marciniak had five catches for 154 yards, all in the first half. Quinn had four grabs for 127 yards and rushed eight times for 185 yards. Carter McCarthy had four catches yards. Horizon had 25 plays of 11 yards or more.
“(Sneed) was incredible,” added Heavner. “Nothing against (Desert Mountain quarterback) Kyle Allen. He’s a Division I kid, but I thought Dalton was the better player tonight. I think he’s going to be a Division I quarterback, too.”
Allen, who threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, was missing a few of his usual targets Friday and the Wolves relied more on their running back, led by Deion Warren, who finished with 40 carries for 200 yards and two touchdowns.
Allen was 6-for-13 for 44 yards and one interception.
Horizon 63, Desert Mountain 34
First Downs: DM 23, H 26
Rushing: DM 60-278, H 18-256
Passing (comp.-att.-TD-INT): DM 6-13-44-2-1, H 16-20-449-5-0
Fumbles-lost: DM 1-0, H 2-1
Penalties-yards: DM 4-25, H 15-127
Desert Mountain 7 14 0 13 -- 34
Horizon 21 21 14 7 -- 63
H: Marciniak 61 pass from Sneed (McAtamney kick)
DM: Warren 2 run (Taylor kick)
H: Quinn 59 pass from Sneed (McAtamney kick)
H: Sneed 11 run (McAtamney kick)
DM: Martinez 14 pass from Allen (Taylor kick)
H: Marciniak 12 pass from Sneed (McAtamney kick)
DM: Warren 7 run (Taylor kick)
H: Marciniak 52 pass from Sneed (McAtamney kick)
H: McCarthy 15 pass from Sneed (McAtamney kick)
H: Quinn 28 run (McAtamney kick)
H: Quinn 35 run (McAtamney kick)
DM: Olivarez 4 pass from Allen (kick failed)
H: Quinn 6 run (McAtamney kick)
DM: Allen 1 fumble return (Taylor kick)