In the aftermath of Apache Junction’s 35-9 4A non-region football loss to Canyon del Oro on Sept, 6 at Oro Valley, the Prospectors had some good news – no new injuries.
The Dorados (3-0) jumped to a 21-6 first quarter lead, but Coach Vance Miller said the Prospectors gave them a tough game, despite having 22 varsity players suited up, along with 10 junior varsity players due to injuries.
“The game was a lot closer than the score would indicate,” Miller said. “Our defense had them contained for the most part, and we often had them wrapped up in the backfield. But (CDO) broke some big plays.
“We had great coverage tonight, but they definitely ‘out-athleted’ us. The 22 varsity kids we had suited up played their tails off. The big thing is, we came out of it healthy.”
Scoring for the Prospectors was Ethan Labrue on a 4-yard touchdown run, and Jordan Morris kicked a 28-yard field goal.
Gibson Limongello completed 7 of 13 passes for 55 yards, and led the Prospectors with 39 rushing yards on eight attempts. Labrue gained 32 yards on 10 carries.
Tommy Ryan caught four passes for 19 yards, Cameron Garcia caught two passes for 12 yards, and Morris caught one 24-yard pass.
Defensively for the Prospectors, Cody Arbogast made four solo tackles, and Gio Martinez, Nathan Munoz and Brody Bullard each added three solo tackles; Martinez and Michael Jada each assisted on six tackles and Talon Izbicki assisted on five stops.
Munoz also had a sack, and Limongello intercepted a pass.
“Overall, we played a clean game. We didn’t have any turnovers, and (CDO) had one,” Miller said. “We controlled the game really well, but we have no depth. If we were healthy, we could maybe beat them five out of 10 times.”
NEXT: VISTA GRANDE
The Prospectors (1-2) host Casa Grande Vista Grande on Friday. The Spartans (0-3) have suffered losses to Tucson Cholla (21-7), Tucson Amphitheater (7-0) and Tucson Sahuaro (55-0).
“Honestly, Vista Grande is not as powerful on offense as they were a year ago,” Miller said. “Their passing game is sputtering a little bit and I think we can take advantage of that. I’ve read some reports, and their coach talks about how they’re struggling.
“I think that with our experience – but not our depth because we don’t have any – we can handle them just fine.”
After the homecoming game against Vista Grande, the Prospectors will have a bye week before facing Phoenix Shadow Mountain on Sept. 27.
“This is an extremely important game,” Miller said. “We didn’t expect to lose to Tempe; that one still stings. We knew what we were going into with Canyon del Oro and we wanted to play our best football. Shadow Mountain will be tough, as will Glendale and Washington, but we don’t see as many mountains as high as Canyon del Oro.
“So, the Vista Grande game is pivotal on many levels. We only have four home games left, and you want to put on a good show for your fans and family at homecoming. And it’s our first home game in two weeks,” he continued. “This game is a good launching pad for us to make a turn to start focusing on the rest of the season. Getting a win this week will help build the kids’ confidence and our kids will be flying high.
“Then, we’ll have the bye week to get guys healthy.”
Apache Junction had a big second half on Sept. 5, as the Prospectors junior varsity rolled to a 42-21 win over Oro Valley Canyon del Oro at Davis Field.
Garrett Garcia and Gavin Limongello each scored two touchdowns for the Prospectors, while Doug Reh and Ethan Knox scored one TD apiece.
Aaron Edwards added a 2-point conversion run, while Chris Vaccaro converted 4 of 5 PAT kicks.
The AJHS JV is 2-0.
4A BLACK CANYON REGION RESULTS FOR SEPT. 6
Phoenix Bourgade Catholic 45, Phoenix Cortez 0
Phoenix Arcadia 50, Phoenix Washington 19
Glendale 48, Glendale Independence 21
Flagstaff 47, El Mirage Dysart 17
BLACK CANYON REGION GAMES FOR SEPT. 13
Casa Grande Vista Grande at Apache Junction
San Tan Valley Combs at Gilbert Mesquite
Phoenix Moon Valley at Phoenix Washington
El Mirage Dysart at San Tan Valley Poston Butte
Phoenix Cortez at Flagstaff Coconino
Phoenix Thunderbird at Glendale