Powered by more than 300 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns from Mesa Desert Ridge senior Chris Heldore, the host Jaguars (2-2) defeated Peoria Sunrise Mountain (1-3) 52-10 in a 5A-I nonregion game Friday.
“I was just trying to help our team any way I could,” Heldore said.
Heldore turned an interception at his own 3-yard line into a 97-yard touchdown gallop, setting a school record.
The speedy two-way player “didn’t really plan on” the scoring run, but after a couple really good blocks, getting turned upfield and sidestepping four opponents, Heldore left the rest of his foes in his dust.
Heldore also converted screen passes of 19 and 17 yards along with an 8-yard burst into touchdowns.
Strong blocking helped Jaguars sophomore quarterback Kevin Pantastico throw for 255 yards and three touchdowns, on tosses to Heldore and sophomore receiver Paris Clark.
On the other side of the football, Jaguars defensive back Chris Jamison, who ran back a 48-yard interception for a score, attributed the ballhawking secondary’s success to solid defensive line play.
“They applied a lot of pressure,” resulting in three Sunrise Mountain interceptions and constricting the Mustangs to minus-19 yards rushing in the first half. “He (Mustang quarterback Tyler Brown) was running all night.”
Kyle Young replaced Brown, who left the game in the third quarter with an injured hand. Coach Will Babb did not confirm the injury was a broken hand but sat Brown as a precautionary measure.