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,
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.