Apache Junction reached a defensive milestone in its 56-0 4A Black Canyon Region win at Phoenix Cortez on Oct. 16.
The Prospectors earned their third consecutive shutout, the first time that has happened in program history.
“We’re really proud of those three shutouts,” Prospectors Coach Vance Miller said.
While AJHS improved to 6-2 (3-0 in the region), the Colts (0-8, 0-3) lost their 35th straight game, dating back to September of 2016.
“Keeping the focus was the hardest part of a game like this,” Miller said. “It was 7-0 after one quarter, and it was sloppy at the start – penalties, false starts and so on. I think the kids thought we had this one in the bag. We had to rip into them a little bit on the sideline, and remind them to get down to business. Then we were up 35-0 at the half as we started playing better.”
Apache Junction racked up 474 yards in total offense, while holding Cortez to 10.
Quarterback Gibson Limongello was 17 of 25 for 312 yards and four touchdowns. His 70-yard scoring pass to Cameron Garcia was the longest of his AJ career. Cameron Garcia caught five passes for 105 yards, Tommy Ryan had three receptions for 71 yards and a TD, and Chris Lohman caught three passes for 43 yards and a touchdown.
Jordan Morris caught two passes for 56 yards, including a touchdown, and made 8 of 8 PAT kicks.
Gibson Limongello ran the ball three times for 44 yards, while Lohman gained 47 rushing yards and a touchdown on six attempts. Gavin Limongello gained 47 yards on six carries, and threw a TD pass to Garret Garcia. Both are freshmen.
Ethan Labrue added a rushing touchdown, and Ethan Wright stripped the ball at the goal line and scored his second defensive touchdown of the season.
Gio Martinez led the Prospectors with six tackles, followed by Cody Arbogast had four.
Miller reported that the Prospectors did incur a couple of injuries. Senior defensive back Cass Casperson, who had an interception in the game, had to leave due to a stinger in his neck, “but should be okay for the Glendale game.” And Aiden Franco suffered a dislocated ankle – Miller said he was scheduled to have surgery on Saturday (Oct. 19).
The first of two tests that could decide the region title comes this Friday (Oct. 25), when the Prospectors host Glendale in their final home game of the regular season.
Both Glendale and Apache Junction enter the game with identical 3-0 region records, 6-2 overall. On Oct. 18, the Cardinals won a wild 49-48 overtime game over San Tan Valley Combs.
Cardinals quarterback Rocco Bruney has thrown for 1,618 yards and 13 touchdowns, while gaining 625 rushing yards on an average of 8.4 yards per carry. Kevin Daniels is averaging 124.7 rushing yards per game along with 19 touchdowns, and has caught 32 passes, including five touchdown receptions.
“Glendale gave up 48 to Combs, so we’re confident we can score on them,” Miller said. “I don’t think they’ve faced a defense like ours. It’ll be interesting to see how our defense does against their offense. I just don’t think they’ll put 49 points on us.”
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Davis Field.