Desert Vista overcomes 14-point deficit for win in California

Desert Vista High quarterback Parker Navarro (right) drops back for a pass early in Friday's football game at Carlsbad, Calif., High. The Thunder quickly abandoned their passing game and rushed for four touchdowns in a 33-21 comeback win that lifted them to 2-0.

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- The cool ocean breeze couldn’t cool off the visiting Desert Vista High football team on Friday, as it turned to its ground game to bail it out of a two-touchdown deficit and rally past Carlsbad High, 33-21.

Tyson Grubbs, after leading the Thunder (2-0) with 115 rushing yards and two touchdowns in an opening win over Palm Springs, Calif., followed up on Friday with four touchdowns, capped by a 42-yard scamper to bury the Lancers.

“I got to trigger my dog in me,” Grubbs said. “That was a big part that I didn’t have in me (last year). I was really just doing what they told me and not adding any sauce to it. So, I think that it’s putting in my own sauce (that’s made a difference).”

Grubbs’ newfound sauce was key to the Thunder’s 27 unanswered points.

Carlsbad (1-1) came into the game riding a Week 1 upset of defending California 3A champion Spring Valley Steele Canyon.

“Moving forward, I think we showed in the second half that we can run the football, and we can throw the football,” Thunder coach Dan Hinds said. “It’s going to be fun going forward, but we still have a lot of work to do, though.”

During the second quarter, after another sluggish first period, the Thunder switched their offensive attack to their run game.

“What we saw in the first half was that we were getting a push, and we knew that,” Hinds said. “We made some adjustments and we put Armando Delgado in at fullback and Tyson Grubbs at tailback and we just kept switching Grubbs and Colby Humphrey back at tailback. It was something we just saw it at half-time decided to do it and it worked.

“Our O-line was getting a good push. Armando was blasting up there and got a lot of leads.”

After the half, the Thunder were a force to be reckoned with, as their two running backs pounded the Lancers defense into submission. Humphrey quickly scored to start the third quarter and then Grubbs took over.

“Our boys have got to realize that if we don’t make mistakes and we are a disciplined team like we have been the last two games in the second half, then we can be pretty good,” Hinds said.

Using a balanced attack, the Lancers burned nearly 6 minutes of the first quarter on their first drive, methodically marching down the field. Junior running back Luke Armstrong capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. He scored again later in the opening quarter on a 3-yard run to put the Lancers up 14-0.

Poor play on both sides of the ball doomed the Thunder early. Penalties, along with an interception that nearly was returned for a touchdown allowed the Lancers to take control for most of the first half.

Grubbs recovered his own fumble in the end zone to get Desert Vista on the board going into halftime.

“We just told them they hadn’t stopped us,” Hinds said. “Once again, we stopped ourselves in the first half. We had some on-the-road jitters I guess you could call it.

“They had a really nice opening drive. They went 82 yards, which I commend them for that. That is a really coached up team. Then we had a few mistakes. We just calmed down and continued to play our game. We knew that we could run the ball at them and we really did in the second half.”

Desert Vista has an open date this Friday and then opens its Arizona competition against Valley Vista at home on Sept. 7.

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