Desert Ridge did what it needed to do to beat visiting Valley Vista in the opening round of the Division I playoffs Friday.
But Jaguars coach Jeremy Hathcock said his team will need to do much more -- actually a lot less -- if it wants to play past next week.
"We were sloppy. Too many mistakes. We will lose next week if this happens. Put it down on paper. We will lose,” Hathcock said.
Despite the 48-6 victory, the only number Hathcock could focus on was 185. That was the number of penalty yards his team accumulated, and he knows that cannot continue if the team wants to push forward.
"I’ve never seen anything like it,” Hathcock said of his team’s six personal-foul penalties. “It’s very characteristic of how we’ve played, and that’s the problem.”
The second-seeded Jaguars (10-1) scored 21 third-quarter points to pull away from the 15th-seeded Monsoons (8-3) and eventually put the game out of reach.
The teams combined for 31 penalties for 315 yards. Desert Ridge had 11 penalties for 110 yards in the first half, while Valley Vista was called for 11 penalties and 95 yards in the second half.
Danny Siaumau and Tarek Morrison each scored three times, and the two combined to score three third-quarter TDs in less than five minutes. The Jaguars needed only 11 plays to score those three touchdowns, getting an interception and some help from a 10-yard punt by Valley Vista to set up two of the scores. Desert Ridge had gone 70 yards in seven plays on its first possession of the second half, capped by a 6-yard Siamau run for a 27-6 lead.
"The No. 15 seed can’t make mistakes like that against the No. 2 seed. The wheels fell off,” Valley Vista coach Josh SeKoch said. “Our kids played hard. We were definitely overmatched.”
The Jaguars put the game away in the third quarter, but it was the first quarter when they took control. The Monsoons fumbled a punt return to set up the Jags’ first score, a 10-yard run by Siaumau. On its next possession, Valley Vista fumbled on the first play, and Desert Ridges’s Nick Allen returned it 45 yards for a 14-0 lead.
The hosts blocked a punt on the Monsoons' next series, but the ensuing drive ended with an interception at the Valley Vista 7-yard line. The Jaguars eventually made it 20-0 on a 19-yard run by Morrison with 6:18 left in the first half.
The guests cut the gap to 20-6 at the break when Terry Juniel outjumped a pair of Desert Ridge defenders on a 41-yard scoring pass from Dalvin Richardson.
“I thought we were good at halftime,” SeKoch said. “We played the best we could except for the turnovers. The effort was there, and that’s all you can ask for.”
Valley Vista opened the second half by moving the ball to Desert Ridge’s 30, but a fourth-and-5 pass play was incomplete. The Monsoons would not move the ball past midfield again until the final four minutes of the game.
Valley Vista finished with only 34 yards rushing on 19 attempts. The passing game was not much better, going 4-for-16 for 113 yards.
Morrison led Desert Ridge’s offense, rushing for 90 yards and throwing for 84.
But again, the only thing Hathcock and his players could focus on afterward was the team's penalty yardage. As for why that number was so high, it depends whom you ask.
“We’re undisciplined,” Hathcock said. “We are a bunch of kids who cannot control their temper. And I’m tired of this. “
Safety Anthony Hovorka agreed with his coach but also had another explanation.
“Sometimes we play a little too aggressive, but that’s what makes us good at the same time,” he said. “It’s not our fault some teams just can’t hang with us. It’s not our fault we got some teams that are too soft and we are just going to overpower them and get personal fouls like that. If we play Hamilton, we won’t get as many personal fouls, because they play hard and we play hard.”
No matter the reasons, Siaumau said the Jaguars have to clean up the mistakes.
“We need to focus more,” he said. “ I don’t think we’ll make it very far with all these penalties.”
Desert Ridge 48, Valley Vista 6
VV – 0 6 0 0 – 6
DR – 14 6 21 7 – 48
DR – Siaumau 10 run (Solis kick)
DR – Allen 45 fumble return (Solis kick)
DR – Morrison 19 run (kick failed)
V – Juniel 41 pass from Richardson (kick failed)
DR – Siaumau 6 run (Landon kick)
DR – Morrison 5 run (Landon kick)
DR – Siaumau 10 run (Landon kick)
DR – Morrison 5 run (Landon kick)
First downs 6 13
Rushes-yards 19-34 44-219
Passing yards 113 112
Comp-att-int 4-16-1 3-6-1
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-0
Penalties-yards 14-130 17-185