By Richard Bravo
Copper Basin News
The Pima Roughriders displayed why they are the number one ranked team in division VI football by defeating the Ray Bearcats in a highly anticipated game 44-15 Friday night.
The Bearcats, who this season have averaged 48 points a game and held opponents to an average of 15 points a game, had trouble on both sides of the ball. They gave up a season high in points and scoring a season low as they were handed their first loss of the season.
The first quarter started out like anticipated, as both teams played tough allowing just one score each. The Roughriders struck first on a big run of 58 yards to take an early 6-0 lead. The Bearcats, not to be out done, came right back on their next possession to tie the game when quarterback Destry Yocum connected with receiver Dominic Bravo on a 7 yard touchdown pass. The PAT by Jacob Pace gave the Bearcats a 7-6 lead at the end of one quarter of play.
With momentum being carried by taking an early lead and the use of home field advantage against the top ranked Roughriders, the Bearcats looked to capitalize on a big quarter. However, Pima would have other plans as the Roughrider defense held the Bearcats scoreless while their offense scored twice in the quarter on plays of 1 and 45 yards to take a 20-6 lead at the half.
The Roughriders started the second half of the game taking the opening kickoff to their own 38 yard line. With a mix of passing, running, and a little trickery the Roughriders marched down the field and extended their lead scoring on a gutsy hook and pitch play on 4th down putting the Roughriders up 26-7 with 9:36 left in the third quarter. The Bearcats got within 11 points of the Roughriders when running back Robin Newman scored his first touchdown of the game on a 4 yard run with 5:00 left in the quarter. The score was the last of the night for the Bearcats as they were held scoreless by a stubborn Roughrider defense. Pima went on to score 18 unanswered points and cruise to a 44-15 victory to remain undefeated this season.
The Bearcats did not have it going for them on this night compiling only 165 total yards of offense. Newman was the leading rusher for the game carrying the ball 13 times for 71 yards and a TD. Passing Yocum completed 9 passes for 71 yards and a TD. Receiving Bravo had 3 catches for 39 yards and a TD.
On the defensive side Yocum led with 12 tackles, 1 assist, and a sack. Bravo had 8 tackles. Julio Noriega, Ryan Bickley, and Seth Harmon had 3 tackles each. Jacob Sotelo, Joe Rudy Lorona, and Pace had 2 tackles each with Pace recording a sack.
The Bearcats will be trying to bring back the Copper Helmet Friday night as they take on the Superior Panthers on senior night at Dave Mcfee Memorial stadium. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.
The Booster club with be hosting a tailgate party in the High School parking lot starting a 3 p.m. Please come out and support your Ray High Football team.