The Desert Vista Thunder rolled on to victory Friday night with a 45-37 win over Boulder Creek on the road in Anthem.
Penalties seemed to plague the Thunder all night, as they racked up 11 for nearly 100 yards. While the team had a strong first-half performance, they ran had some hiccups later on. However, they were able to prevail.
Desert Vista came out of the gate strong, scoring a touchdown on the first drive of the game. After the touchdown, Thunder linebacker Zack McGinnis intercepted Boulder Creek quarterback Bear Milacek, which he returned for an 8-yard touchdown.
Thunder quarterback Parker Navarro and wide receiver Elijah Ervin continued to pick apart the opposing secondary as they have all season.
The duo accounted for 130 passing yards and two touchdowns on three different plays in the first half alone. Connecting on explosive plays is something the two like to put an emphasis on.
“In practice, we work on getting the timing down and usually after practice, we’ll get a couple more routes in just to stay connected on those,” Ervin said.
Going into the second half, though, the Thunder started to struggle offensively.
Desert Vista fumbled on back-to-back possessions in the third quarter, allowing the Jaguars to cut down the Thunder's lead to 35-30. However, a 94-yard touchdown run by Colby Humphrey midway through the fourth quarter was enough to help lift the Desert Vista to victory.
Navarro credited the defense for coming up with crucial stops in Friday's win.
“The plays that we didn’t score, they (the defense) stopped them," Navarro said. "So, to have that backing us up, that’s great, and honestly, we couldn’t have done it without them. They came up in big moment."
Despite the win, Navarro hopes his team will be able to learn from this game, specifically when it comes to penalties. That sentiment was echoed by Desert Vista head coach Dan Hinds.
“We’re gonna need to figure out how to play four quarters. We came out in the first half and played really well. Our boys did what I wanted them to do, we wanted to get out quick on these guys, and we did, but we need to just put a whole game together,” Hinds said. “Our guys did what they had to do pull out the win, so I’m happy.”
Overall, Desert Vista was able to accumulate nearly 470 yards of offense while Boulder Creek had 420.
“I’ve gotta hand it to Boulder Creek’s coaches and their staff," Hinds said. "They did a great job."
Now at 6-2 (2-1) on the season, Desert Vista has two games remaining before the post-season begins. Next week, the Thunder will host Corona del Sol (3-5, 1-2) for senior night and homecoming. They’ll close out the regular season the following week on the road against Queen Creek (6-2, 2-1) in a pivotal 6A contest.
“Both of those games will be battles," Hinds said. "We’ve already talked about it with our team before this game. The next three games were gonna be battles, and tonight was.
"Next week will be with Corona, they’re a good football team. So, what we’ve got to do is continue to focus on our preparation during the week.”
DV 21 14 0 10 -- 45
BC 3 14 13 7 -- 37
DV - Navarro 1 pass to Belnap (Hauck kick), 8:55
DV - McGinnis 8 interception (Hauck kick), 8:30
BC - Furman field goal, 2:21
DV - D. Grubbs 8 run (Hauck kick), 0:55
BC - Milacek 10 pass to Cisneros (Furman kick), 8:23
DV - Navarro 42 pass to Ervin (Hauck kick), 6:49
BC - Cisneros 8 run (Furman kick), 5:37
DV - Navarro 35 pass to Ervin (Hauck kick), 1:29
BC - Milacek 24 pass to Cisneros, 9:55
BC - Cisneros 30 run (Furman kick), 7:30
DV - Hauck field goal, 12:00
DV - Humphrey 94 run (Hauck kick), 6:54
BC - Milacek 13 pass to Cisneros (Furman kick), 4:21