Desert Ridge football rode its hot offense all night as the Jaguars defeated Westview 44-20 at home in 6A high school football Friday night.
The Jaguars, coming off a loss to city rival Red Mountain a week prior, were desperate to beat the Knights and not stumble to 0-2 to start the 2019 season.
Both teams traded lost fumbles on the second play of their initial offensive possessions. But, through a series of consecutive screen passes from junior quarterback Austin Kolb, the Jaguars marched down the field for an early score. They raced to a 21-0 lead in the first half, and Westview never caught up.
Westview had noted inexperience on defense, both because it was the Knights’ first game of the season and because they started several young players. Allowing the Jaguar receivers to get the ball early allowed Desert Ridge to create space and utilize its speed to consistently gain big yards.
“He (Kolb) is still a young quarterback, but we know he can catch the snap and he can throw it. So we got the ball out of his hands to some of our receivers, and let them do their thing,” coach Jeremy Hathcock said.
And, in the red zone, the offensive line got a big push. Senior Koby Hathcock rushed for three short touchdowns in for the team’s regular starting back, sophomore Jordan Wilson.
Koby said he was not expecting such an offensive outburst after being held to just 14 points the week prior against a normally-tough defense. Scoring early gave the Jaguars confidence.
“It felt like everything was clicking. It was awesome,” Koby said.
Westview got within 14 from a second-quarter drive led by catches from Isac Hall – he tallied eleven catches for 134 yards and two scores – when touchdown grab by junior Jonathan Chacon trimmed the lead to 21-7.
However, the Jaguars scored twice more in the second quarter, including a passing touchdown to senior Aidan Lee with just five seconds remaining, to take a nearly-insurmountable 34-7 lead into the break.
Desert Ridge began running the ball more, and was able to run the clock out with the lead in hand. Jeremy Hathcock was pleased with the offense’s production.
“That’s the first time we’ve scored 30 (or more) points in over a year, so that was good to see,” Jeremy Hathcock said.
Westview and Desert Ridge have developed a rivalry of recent. Before Friday’s game, the latest series was 1-1, as the Knights upset the Jaguars in the 2017 playoffs and Desert Ridge spoiled Westview’s 2018 home opener with a 23-17 victory.
Thus, a dominating performance felt even better to those who remember the teams’ past contests.
“It feels good to beat that team big like that and kind of show everyone who’s better,” Koby Hathcock said.
The Knights (0-1) will travel to Glendale to take on Mountain Ridge on September 6.
The Jaguars (1-1) have just a short drive down Crismon Road to visit Skyline. Coach Hathcock said the entire team is motivated to not only reach a winning record, but to face off against the team he considers Desert Ridge’s fiercest rival.
“No doubt everybody wants to win that game, and it is always a good one,” he said.
Westview 20, Desert Ridge 44
Westview 0 7 6 7 – 20
Desert Ridge 14 20 7 3 – 44
DR – Hathcock 3 run (Edwards kick), 9:26
DR – Hathcock 1 run (Edwards kick), 3:56
DR – Butler 29 pass from Kolb (Edwards kick), 7:34
WEST – Chacon 15 pass from Vasko (Malla kick), 6:49
DR – Hathcock 6 run (kick failed), 3:26
DR – Lee 15 pass from Kolb (Edwards kick), 0:05
WEST – Hall 11 pass from Vasko (kick blocked), 6:24
DR – Lee 66 pass from Kolb (Edwards kick), 5:18
DR – Edwards 23 kick, 7:35
WEST – Hall 2 pass from Vasko (Malla kick), 2:57
Westview – Vasko 8-49, Wilson 8-24, Martinez 4-9, Valentine 1-0. Desert Ridge – Thomas 9-48, Kolb 5-24, Hathcock 6-22, Moreno 3-17, Kostroyz 4-16, Barrett 1-9.
Westview – Vasko 16-22-205-1. Desert Ridge – Kolb 19-27-269-0.
Westview – Hall 11-134, Martinez 1-29, Chacon 1-15, Wilson 1-14, Valentine 1-3. Desert Ridge – Lee 7-128, Butler 6-102, Nelson 3-23, Hernandez 3-16.
Westview Desert Ridge
First downs 11 19
Rush-yards 21-82 28-136
Comp-att-int 16-22-1 19-27-0
Pass yards 205 269
Total yards 287 405
Fumbles/lost 3/1 2/2
Penalties-yards 7-55 11/87