Wranglers wallop ’Devils 60-23
MOHAVE VALLEY — The River Valley High School football team knew what to expect in its game Friday night against the Wickenburg High School Wranglers.
The Dust Devils just couldn’t figure out a way to contain the Wranglers’ running game.
Kegan Lindsay scored three of Wickenburg’s six rushing touchdowns in a 60-23 Arizona Interscholastic Assoication 3A West Region football win in the regular-season finale for both teams.
“They didn’t do anything crazy or anything different from what we expected from watching them on film,” Dust Devils interim head coach Chris Starkey said. “They’re just really good at what they do. We put our kids in the right positions to make plays. We just didn’t make them.”
Lindsay set the tone with a 38-yard TD run on the game’s third play from scrimmage. He ran in a 2-point conversion to put the Wranglers up 8-0 one minute into the contest.
After a Dust Devils three-and-out, Lindsay wrapped up a 55-yard drive with a 32-yard scoring run. Joe Moder‘s run made it 16-0 with 7:20 left in the first quarter.
Alex Carrasco’s acrobatic interception of an Andrew Chance pass set up his own 28-yard scoring run. Lindsay’s conversion run put Wickenburg up 24-0, with 3:13 left in the quarter.
A holding penalty wiped away Marc Hightower’s TD return of the ensuing kickoff. But the Dust Devils got on the board anyway, thanks to Chance’s 5-yard run. He added the 2-point conversion to make it 24-8 late in the first quarter.
The second quarter was uneventful until Lindsay hauled in a 24-yard scoring pass from Jonah Vega-Reid with 1:37 left. His conversion run put the Wranglers back up by 24.
Lindsay scored on a 23-yard run in the waning seconds of the first half. Michael Flinn’s PAT kick made it 39-8 at the break.
River Valley started the second half moving the ball well, but Moder scooped up a fumbled handoff, ran for a 63-yard TD, then added a conversion run to make it 47-8, a minute into the third quarter.
Moder scored on a 6-yard run to make it 54-8, before Oscar Navarrete’s 1-yard run made it 60-8 in the final minute of the third.
With the clock running in the fourth quarter, RVHS senior Thomas Marrietta, normally a lineman, entered the game at fullback. He scored on a 3-yard run.
He said he enjoyed being rewarded for his hard work and getting the chance to “run someone over and score a touchdown.”
Senior Micaiah Hammett said that it was tough losing by such a large margin, but that fond memories of his teammates will persevere.
“I love ’em,” he said. “They’re my brothers. We’ve been through a lot, but we’ve all stuck together and really gotten to bond pretty well.’
Chance threw a 13-yard TD pass to Logan Knox to close out the scoring with 5 seconds left.
Starkey said that the two late scores are important for building momentum heading into the offseason.
“They got to walk off the field feeling good about themselves just three times this season, he said of his players. “We pick up offseason (workouts) next week, he said. And if they don’t want to feel THESE feelings anymore, they need to make sure they’re there and getting after it.”
The Dust Devils finish the season at 3-7, 2-3 in the 3A West Region.
“They’re not going anywhere,” Wickenburg Coach Carson Miller said. “They’ve got a good program and a bunch of tough kids. They’ll be back.”
The Wranglers (6-4, 4-1) visit Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian Nov. 4 in the first round of the state playoffs.