over Val­ley Lutheran — and Fri­day night was more of the same.

An­te­lope’s stout de­fense held Scotts­dale Prep (4-3, 1-2) to just 148 yards of to­tal of­fense, while the Rams’ run-heavy at­tack to­taled 365 of of­fense (297 rush­ing, 68 pass­ing).

Four dif­fer­ent An­te­lope ball car­ri­ers to­taled at least 50 yards on the ground, most no­tably se­nior Dustyn Ricker (8 car., 97 yards) and ju­nior Sam Martinez (13 car., 95 yards, TD). Sopho­more Wil­liam Whit­ley (5 car., 57 yards, TD) and Isaac Filero (4 car., 53 yards, TD) were the other two.

“Just to get our ground game go­ing,” Mauldin said of the of­fen­sive game plan. “I re­ally liked the way our of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor, if Dustyn had a long run he’d get Isaac in and vice versa.”

Filero also scored on a punt re­turn.

“He re­ally stood out tonight just all over the field,” Mauldin said of Filero.

Sopho­more quar­ter­back Trey Hohlbein com­pleted 6 of 14 passes for 68 yards and one touch­down, an 11-yarder to ju­nior re­ceiver Dy­lan Thomas (2 rec., 32 yards, TD).

“For a school with a lit­tle over 200 (stu­dents), we have 4-5 weapons that we can go to of­fen­sively,” Mauldin said. “And a school our size, a lot of schools are lucky if they have just one or two. So I feel very grate­ful in that re­spect.”

But Mauldin is most im­pressed with An­te­lope’s de­fense.

Scotts­dale Prep gained more than 20 yards on just two of nine of­fen­sive pos­ses­sions, and con­verted just 4 of 12 third downs. Out­side of Spar­tans run­ning back Thomas Anc­til (25 car., 98 yards), Scotts­dale Prep had lit­tle of­fen­sive suc­cess any­where — quar­ter­back Frias com­pleted just 6 of 15 passes and was in­ter­cepted once, by Whit­ley in the sec­ond quar­ter.

“It’s our speed, re­ally,” Whit­ley said of the Rams’ de­fense. “We’ve got­ten a lot faster since last year, and we’ve got­ten bet­ter at hit­ting harder. It’s mainly our speed, though.”

With An­te­lope up 21-0 at the half, the only real ques­tion in the sec­ond half was whether or not the Rams would be able to post yet an­other shutout.

When the shutout streak ended at 15 quar­ters thanks to Scotts­dale Prep’s touch­down with 8:42 to go in the game, there was a brief sense of de­fla­tion on the Rams’ side­line.

But that dis­ap­point­ment dis­ap­peared quickly.

“It was a lit­tle down (af­ter the touch­down),” Mauldin said, “but three years ago we would have taken any­thing we could get.”

In­deed, the An­te­lope pro­gram has come a long way.



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