In junior Damyian Duarte’s first start at quarterback, Dobson defeated rival Westwood, 40-22, on the Mustangs’ homecoming night. Duarte stole the show, as he had four touchdowns, capped off with a big 70- yard run late in the third quarter.
With senior quarterback Michael Gundersdorf not starting due to a shoulder injury, Duarte was given the nod by Dobson’s coach, Bill Godsil. Godsil was impressed with how well his quarterback played. “His composure to make the drives and make great decisions was something that I didn’t know he had yet, that’s good to see moving forward.” Godsil knew with Duarte’s first start he had to get his quarterback the ball early. “We wanted to make sure he got the ball in his hands quite a bit,” Godsil said. That worked well as Duarte rushed and passed for four touchdowns.
Duarte was nervous but eager for his first start. “When I first came in, I was a little nervous with some butterflies but after a couple of plays, I settled in,” Damyian said. As they move forward, Duarte hopes to build off of this win, as they progress in the season. “We might’ve won tonight but it’s a new week, new team, preparation is preparation.”
After an ugly loss to Red Mountain, the Mustangs recovered and never looked back. Scoring two quick touchdowns in the first quarter, Dobson’s coach, Bill Godsil, was pleased with how well his team responded after a tough loss. “They came back and rose to the challenge against a tough gritty team,” Godsil says, “coming off that loss to Red Mountain we had to lick our wounds pretty good and come back with a positive vibe.”
Westwood wasn’t able to recover after giving up two quick touchdowns to the Mustangs. The Warriors had faced many penalties and turned the ball over that stalled a lot of their drives. Westwood coach, Tony Conrad, wasn’t pleased with the team’s performance. Conrad said, “we killed ourselves. We made too many mistakes, you can’t fumble the ball twice and expect to win.”
Dobson’s defense was too much for Westwood, as they were stopped on a fourth and goal on the one late in the fourth quarter. That stop sealed the game for the Mustangs, as they ran out the clock, sealing their victory on homecoming night.
Dobson moves to 1-1 in region play and 2-3 on the season, while Westwood falls to 0-1 in region play and 1-4 on the year. Dobson will face a big challenge next Friday as they host Hamilton, while Westwood will look to bounce back as they face Skyline.
Marco Salas is a sports journalism major at Arizona State's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism covering Dobson High School athletics.