Marcos de Niza’s Padres varsity football time, which lost its first game of the 2015-16 season 24-12 to Mountain Pointe, took its vengeance out on neighboring McClintock High School a week later with a dominating 49-7 win.
Quarterback Nazareth Greer, completed 14 of 23 pass attempts, the longest for 65 yards to Anthony Trujillo, for a touch. Trujillo had four catches for 102 yards, including one of the seven touchdowns scored by Marcos.
Fellow seniors Shaun Richards caught four passes while Tanner Blankenship had three receptions and Anthony Gonzales had two.
The Padres strength against the Chargers, though, was running the ball where six players rushed for close to 200 yards scoring four more touchdowns.
Avery Sanders, as the leading rushers for the Padres, carried the ball nine times for 55 yards and one touchdown.
Erik Bolster scored another of the four rushing touchdowns while Richards crossed the goal line carrying the ball to score the other two.
Zyayre Moss was the second leading rusher with 52 yards on six carries and Trysten Griffith gained 30 yards for the team carrying the ball just one time.
Two of the seven total touchdowns were scored on punt returns by juniors Marcus Naisant and Marcus Green.
Maybe the most celebrated player on the team and the second leading scorer was junior kicker Krysten Muir. Muir hit all seven of her point after attempts to score seven of the 49 points earning the distinction of being the only girl at Marcos to score a point for the football team.
Muir, who was name Female Athlete of the Week by Azcentral.com for her performance on the football team, is the daughter of Jeremy Muir, the defensive line coach at Marcos de Niza.
Muir, though, was not a shoe-in but had to earn her position with hard work, perseverance and performance when she outkicked three other football players in order to be in position to kick the point-after.
The Padres, 1-1, will play at Tempe High School Sept. 4 against the Buffaloes who are coming off a 21-13 loss against Buckeye in their first game of the season.
Corona Football Wins Big
It always feels good to win the first game of the season, especially when your team puts forth a great performance like Corona did in their 35-7 win over Westwood on Aug. 28.
Senior quarterback Austin Freese, protected by Corona’s cohesive offensive line, had a great outing completing 13 of his 16 attempts spread out over six receivers including his brother Dylan Freese who snagged 4 balls out of the air to earn the distinction of leading receiver with 68 yards on four receptions.
The second leading receiver was Jacob Rose with 44 yards followed by Kaden Carter with 17.
Corona’s strength against the Warriors, though, was more in their running game where the Aztecs scored five touchdowns over the course of three quarters.
Cameron Brice scored the first of his two touchdowns in the second quarter after a scoreless first quarter. With less than 10 minutes to half time, Brice ran the ball across the goal line from two yards out to earn the first points.
Austin Delaney hit the first of this five point-after kicks to make the score 7-0.
The floodgates continued to open a little bit more when Jalen Bryant scored on a 10-yard run shortly before the half to put the Aztecs up 14-0.
Corona’s momentum was stalled temporarily when the Aztecs failed to convert a fourth and one on the 9-yard line just before the half.
The momentum shifted in the third quarter when Brice shot up the middle to cross the goal line and give the Aztecs a 21-0 lead.
Corona continued to move the ball in the third quarter but was not able to score again until the second play in the fourth quarter when Mason Carrol ran in for the Aztec’s fourth touchdown of the game and a 28-0 lead.
The Aztecs would go on to score one more touchdown by Byrant with a little more than six minutes in the game after Emiliano Yniguez intercepted a Warrior pass giving Corona a 35-0 lead.
Corona’s solid defense held Westwood scoreless until a little over a minute was left when the Warriors scored a touchdown to finish the game at 35-7.
Defensive stoppers for the Aztecs included Alex Sheppard with four solo and two assisted tackles followed by Jacob Clemens and Daunte McEwen with four solos each. Cade Kieffer, Logan Hatton, Jacob Onofrio and Brandon Arrington each had three solos tackles.
McEwen was the only Aztec player to be credited with a sack in the Westwood game.
Up next the Aztecs will play at home again St. Mary’s in a non-conference game Sept. 4. The Knights are 2-0 and have been noted for their vast improvement over last season.
Corona Girls Golf
The Aztec girls golf team is returning eight golfers from last season’s team including the exact top five players as last year.
“The order of my top five golfers is the same as last season,” said coach Pat Reed. “The only difference is that all five of them are golfing so much better than last year. I’d say a five stroke improvement each.”
Corona’s current top five golfers include Emma Lower, Mikaela Hatfield, Taylor Gransen, Lexie Baughman and Julia Cuendet.
“The biggest impact on how we finish in the top ten at the end of the year may be determined by how well Emma plays,” said Reed. “She finished No. 2 last season but is averaging 2 under par so far this season. If she can continue to maintain that improvement it would be close to a 20 stroke swing for use at state.”
“Mikaela, Taylor, Lexie and Julia have all improved over the summer about five strokes each, as well.”
Other members of the team pushing one of the top five positions in order to play in tournaments include Morghan Caudhill, Courtney Conradi, Ashley Penn, Erika Johnson, Sarah Butler and Elle Potts
Reed is predicting the team has the potential to be in the top 10 at state if not at the No. 5 spot.
The team plays next on Sept. 3 before participating in the Antigua Invitational on Sept. 4.
“How we do in the Antigua Tournament could be a determining factor for state,” said Reed.
Marvin Bagley III Moves On
Marvin had left the building—better yet, Marvin Bagley III has left Corona’s Sammy Duane gym. He’s moved on.
The star freshman basketball player who helped Corona win its fourth consecutive state championship decided two weeks after school had started at CdS to attend Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix.
Bagley, ranked by ESPN as the top 2018 recruit, grabbed 10 rebounds and scored 19 points on average per game last season.
Bagley’s father is to be part of the coaching staff at Hillcrest Prep and his younger brother is also going to be playing basketball at the school.