Shane McCullen rushed for 127 yards and three touchdowns in about three quarters of work to lead Apache Junction past visiting Page 48-0 in 4A-II play Friday night.
McCullen scored from 43 yards out on the Prospectors' first play from scrimmage and then nearly duplicated the feat by running 39 yards the second time he touched the ball, getting stopped at the 5. He punched it in from the 1 a play later.
Apache Junction (3-1) scored on all five of its first half possessions as well as its first of the second half and held the Sand Devils (0-4) to two total yards in the game.
Jake Celis added 68 yards on 10 carries as the Prospectors ground out 279 rushing yards behind the solid play of quarterback John Taylor in his first start.
The Prospectors at last got the offense going early after slow starts in their first three outings.
“They finally listened,” Apache Junction coach Max Ragsdale said. “It’s tough to get off a bus ride of six hours but I think our kids finally listened to us about starting fast and finishing strong. They bought in and did it.”
The Prospector defense overwhelmed a young, undersized Page squad.
The Sand Devils didn’t get into Prospector territory until Apache Junction committed back-to-back 15-yard penalties – roughing the passer and a personal foul – giving Page the ball at the Prospector 49. But Apache Junction sacked the quarterback on the next play and a bad snap left Page back on its 25.
Page got as deep as the Apache Junction 18 on the last possession of the first half but quarterback Cody Ripka fumbled an exchange with running back Demetreus Bailey-Whitehair on a fourth-down play and the Prospectors ran out the clock.
McCullen has 267 rushing yards in two games and didn’t play all of either contest.
“He’s special,” Ragsdale said. “He’s a sophomore kid and still doesn’t know what he is doing. But holy cow, he’s a talent and hopefully he’ll keep going that way.”