Although the final score showed them winning, 42-14, the Desert Vista Thunder did not take care of business against the Palm Springs Indians in the first half Friday like they did in the second.
Both teams played sloppy initially in their season-opening high school football game, combining for 14 penalties in the first half, and the Thunder had the worst outcome possible on their first offensive play of the season: a fumbled snap recovered by Palm Springs.
“There were a little bit (of nerves),” said junior Desert Vista quarterback Parker Navarro. “Once we got to the second quarter, I think (the nerves) were all out. I think overall, coming into the game I think we were ready, and (the fumble) was just a first-game fluke.”
Navarro made his first varsity start and settled down. He passed for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns, adding 42 yards on the ground and another score.
“I said in halftime, ‘Lets just relax and play our game’,” said Desert Vista coach Dan Hinds. “We made some mistakes in the first half that we normally wouldn’t make. They were all a bit nervous. Our kids were overly keyed up tonight.”
The Thunder outscored the Indians 28-7 and had 258 yards of offense compared to Palm Springs’ 78 in the second half.
“We realized that this team never stopped us, we stopped ourselves in the first half,” Hinds said. “We got our run game going a little bit and we knew we were going to come out in the second half and run the football.”
Tyson Grubbs, a junior, led DV with 117 rushing yards and two touchdowns on nine carries, gaining 71 of his yards in the second half.
On the first possession of the second half, Navarro threw his second touchdown pass of the game, a 79-yard dime to junior receiver Elijah Ervin, giving the Thunder a 21-7 lead.
Desert Vista would add two more scores before the end of the third quarter, one of which a 27-yard run by Grubbs.
Navarro wasn’t the only quarterback making his first start.
Palm Springs quarterback Isaiah Goad, a freshman, made his high school football debut 283 miles away from home.
“I thought he did some things during the end of the first quarter,” said Palm Springs head coach Dan Murphy. “He made some good decisions and was able to get us down the field and made some plays with his feet.”
The freshman completed 11 of his 30 pass attempts for 162 yards and a touchdown. He also had an interception.
Goad converted key third and fourth down plays to keep Palm Springs in the game going into halftime, trailing 14-7.
On Friday, Desert Vista (1-0) travels to Southern California to face the Carlsbad Lancers (1-0).
“Being 1-0 is a good feeling,” Hinds said. “It sure beats being 0-1.”