Scottsdale Chaparral scored on its first play from scrimmage en route to a 48-0 rout of host Glendale Copper Canyon on Friday night in 4A nonregion action.
“Any time you can pitch a shutout it’s special, and a great job by the defense,” Chaparral coach Charlie Ragle said.
Firebirds quarterback Spencer Stone opened the scoring with a 73-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Williams. Stone hit Williams again with a 9-yard pass for a touchdown on the Firebirds’ second drive.
Williams had 102 yards receiving in the first two series.
The only things that went awry for the Firebirds (4-0) were missed conversions after the first two scores, one a kick and the other a pass.
But then things came apart a bit for the pass-happy Firebirds, as their next two drives ended with Stone interceptions.
The Firebirds had four turnovers in the game.
“The one thing that hurt us was the fact that we threw an interception,” Ragle said. “We came back out and let them dictate the tempo of the game, and that’s what bothers me the most.”
Chaparral adjusted and went to the ground game, letting Dwayne Garrett carry the ball five times for all 65 yards on the Firebirds’ third touchdown drive. Garrett also ran in the two-point conversion to make it 20-0.
The Firebirds’ special teams got into the act when Joe Zurek blocked a Copper Canyon punt and ran it back 38 yards for a touchdown with 8:35 left in the second quarter, giving Chaparral a 27-0 edge.
Even the defensive line got involved in the scoring. A hard hit on Aztecs quarterback Steven Plasencio caused the ball to pop up in the air, and Chaparral’s L.G. Robinson pulled it down and took it the distance for another touchdown and a 34-0 lead for the Firebirds.
After Dayne Kamela plowed in from two yards out to make it 41-0 midway through the third quarter, it was the defense’s turn again. Defensive end Craig Roh finished the scoring with a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown in the closing seconds of the third quarter. Roh finished with seven tackles, two sacks and the touchdown.
Copper Canyon (0-3) finished with 84 yards of offense and has scored just one touchdown this season.
Despite the impressive win, Ragle saw at least one area that needs work.
“We have to set the tone, offensively, defensively and on special teams,” Ragle said. “I don’t care whether its Copper Canyon or Saguaro or Cactus, you set the tone. If you’re a championship team, you set the tone, and we didn’t do that tonight.”
The Firebirds will face a much tougher test next week, when they visit the Apache Junction Prospectors in a battle of 4-0 teams.
“We always need to work on the small things. It’s hard to come out against a team you know you’re going to beat and play with a high tempo,” Roh said. “We’re going to come out against Apache Junction with our guns blazing.”