The last time No. 8 Desert Ridge played No. 9 Westview it resulted in a low scoring affair in favor of Desert Ridge.
Friday night, in the first round of the 2016 6A playoffs, the Jaguars once again got the better of Westview, defeating the Knights 34-26.
The Knights scored fast, as senior star running back Tyler Vasko found the end zone from 26-yards out on just his second carry of the game to put the Knights up 6-0. However, the score wouldn’t foreshadow Vasko’s night, as he was held to just 82-yards rushing.
“We stopped one guy and the other guy kills it,” Desert Ridge head coach Jeremy Hathcock said. “We were missing Jalen (Harris) on the edge and our defense figured out they can’t rely on players they gotta rely on team and brotherhood.”
What was supposed to be a battle between Vasko and Desert Ridge’s Tyrese Allen, took an unexpected turn when Allen entered Jaguar stadium on crutches.
In came junior Donjae Logan.
On the Jaguars first drive Logan immediately took over the game, running right through the Westview defense for a 50-yard touchdown on just his second carry, giving Desert Ridge the lead 7-6.
“My linemen had great blocks and my outside blockers set up good cut-back lanes,” Logan said. “I saw it and I took it and tried to out-run and stiff arm whoever I could to get extra yards.”
Back-and-forth scores would be the theme of the first half.
On the Knights' next drive it would be junior Orange Mooney who would explode out of the backfield for a 68-yard touchdown to put the Knights back on top, 12-7.
After stopping the Knights offense, the Jaguars added a pair of touchdowns, one from Logan from 4-yards out, and a two-yard run by sophomore Lucas Wright to make it 21-12 in favor of Desert Ridge.
On the Knights' next possession, it would be Mooney finding the end zone once again, this time from 3 yards before senior quarterback Ryan Martinez found a wide open receiver in the end zone from 6-yards to give the Knights the 26-21 lead at halftime.
“We told them ‘we are who we are, we got who we got. Either we are good enough or we are not’ and our guys were good enough,” Hathcock said. “We challenged them to play more physical and in the second half we played physical.”
In the second half the Jaguars came out with a different intensity, stonewalling the Knights offense and holding them scoreless in the second half.
The offensive line for the Jaguars became a force up front, dominating the Knights defensive line and opening big holes for Logan and Wright to find the end zone one more time each to take the lead late in the fourth quarter.
“Our O-Line played lights out, just a great game,” senior quarterback CJ Fowler said. “We feel good but we aren’t satisfied. We know there is some fine tuning to do so next week we fire on all cylinders.”
Costly turnovers for the Knights in Jaguar territory ultimately allowed Desert Ridge to seal the game.
While it wasn’t pretty, winning means staying alive in the playoffs. Next up for the Jaguars, a trip to Ahwatukee to take on No. 1 Mountain Pointe.
“We will go in super excited and will have so much passion,” Logan said. “We are trying to stay in the playoffs. It’s a big game, we are going to be ready.”
Desert Ridge 34, Westview 26
DR 14 7 0 13 - 34
WV 12 14 0 0 – 26
WV – Vasko 26 run, 9:11
DR – Logan 50 run (Decozio), 6:59
WV – Mooney 68 run, 6:07
DR – Logan 4 run (Decozio), 3:15
DR – Wright 2 run (Decozio), 7:47
WV – Mooney 3 run (Peraza), 4:46
WV – Martinez 6 pass to #83 (Not Listed) (Peraza), :20
DR – Wright 2 run, 11:55
DR – Logan 24 run (Decozio), 5:37
First downs 21 16
Rush-yards 49-239 30-264
Comp-Att-Int 7-11-0 4-7-0
Pass yard 99 34
Total yards 338 298
Fumbles/lost 1/0 4/3
Penalties 15-148 10-65
DR – Logan 31-209, Purnell 2-(-)5, Fowler 4-4, Wright 11-34, Salazar 1-(-)3; WV – Mooney 5-132, Vasko 16-82, Arechiga 8-61, Martinez 1-(-)11
DR – Fowler 6-10-0-91, Purnell 1-1-0-8; WV – Martinez 4-7-0-34
DR– Brown 2-34, Winner 3-41, Logan 1-8, Winfield 1-16; WV - #83 2-19, Barrientos 1-5, Fallers 1-10