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Yuma Sun - - SUNSPORTS -

Yuma Catholic and Amer­i­can Lead­er­ship-Gil­bert North com­bined for 1,250 yards of to­tal of­fense Fri­day night at Ricky Gwynn Sta­dium. The Sham­rocks were ac­tu­ally out-gained (665585), de­spite com­ing away with the 72-34 vic­tory.

Who ac­tu­ally likes watch­ing a de­fen­sive bat­tle?

That’s some­thing that it cer­tainly was not on Fri­day night when Yuma Catholic (6-2 AIA, 1-1 re­gion) won a shootout against the Amer­i­can Lead­er­ship Academy (Gil­bert North) (4-5 over­all). The Sham­rocks won 72-34 af­ter 12 touch­downs in the first half and eight in the sec­ond quar­ter alone.

The two teams com­bined for 1,250 yards of of­fense in a game that shot up and down the field. Yuma Catholic fin­ished with 585 yards of of­fense (347 pass­ing and 238 rush­ing) while ALA had 665 yards of of­fense (346 pass­ing and 319 rush­ing).

Both teams put up videogame stats, but it was YC se­nior re­ceiver and de­fen­sive back J.R. Hen­der­son who made it a show.

Hen­der­son had five touch­downs in the game, and it seemed like ev­ery time he was in the open field it would end with six points. He fin­ished with seven catches for 178 yards and four re­ceiv­ing touch­downs. Hen­der­son also had three in­ter­cep­tions and one that was re­turned for a touch­down.

He also com­pleted a pass for 44 yards on a trick play.

“It was def­i­nitely one of the crazy ones,” Hen­der­son said. “I was just tak­ing what they gave me and what we could on of­fense. We were just try­ing to make plays on de­fense with where my coaches put me. They put me in the right po­si­tions to

Gila Ridge is now in the mid­dle of the pro­gram’s long­est win­ning streak since 2010 af­ter beat­ing Youngker on Fri­day night.

The Hawks won their sixth game in a row with a 38-17 thrash­ing of the Roughrid­ers.

Dur­ing this stretch Gila Ridge has held op­po­nents to eight points per game, but they had a few more weapons to deal with this week. Youngker was fresh off of a 61-point per­for­mance against Yuma High where it ran for 325 yards.

The Hawks wanted to make them throw the ball and aban­don their game plan.

“Our de­fense is what we hang our hat on,” Gila Ridge coach Corey Sem­ler said. “We re­ally believe that no mat­ter who we play that we can find a way to neu­tral­ize what they are good at and make them beat us an­other way. That’s ex­actly what we did with Youngker. We forced them to throw the ball and we cap­i­tal­ized with three in­ter­cep­tions.”

Gila Ridge ju­nior line­backer D’An­gelo Jackson (Gar­cia) had a pick-six off of a swing pass that the Roughrid­ers tossed out on the side to get his team started.

“He jumped the route. His foot­ball in­stincts are just elite,” Sem­ler said. “He saw the run­ning back leak out a lit­tle early and he got there and took it to the house.”

Even with the win­ning streak the Hawks have strug­gled on of­fense this sea­son. That wasn’t the case Fri­day with ju­nior quar­ter­back Kaleb Cota throw­ing for 252 yards and hav­ing four touch­downs.

He was helped by ju­nior re­ceiver Jaden Delorme with five catches for 91 yards and a touch­down,

Buy this photo at Yu­maSun.com PHOTO BY RANDY HOEFT/YUMA SUN

CI­BOLA’S ZEKE RIOS (20) tries to stride his way out of an at­tempted tackle by a would-be Kofa tack­ler dur­ing the first quar­ter of Fri­day night’s game at Irv Pal­lack Field.

YUMA CATHOLIC’S J.R. HEN­DER­SON (left) sheds Amer­i­can Lead­er­ship Academy-Gil­bert North in­tended re­ceiver Ja­cob King af­ter in­ter­cept­ing the pass in­tended for King from quar­ter­back Jack Rice­dorff in the sec­ond quar­ter of Fri­day night’s game at Ricky Gwynn Sta­dium. Hen­der­son would re­turn the in­ter­cep­tion for a Sham­rocks touch­down.

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