San Manuel dusts’ Santa Cruz 49 – 8
By Frank Smith
San Manuel Miner
The Miners varsity football team rolled into Eloy on Friday night and rolled out with a much needed 49 – 8 win over the Santa Cruz Dust Devils.
San Manuel went to work early in the first quarter when running back Shane Kelly ran 20 yards around the right side for the touchdown. The extra point kick was no good by Anthony Garcia for 6 – 0 Miner lead with 7:30 on the clock.
The Miners defense came up strong shutting down the Santa Cruz offense in a hurry – giving the ball back to the San Manuel.
The Miners once again went to work, with Shane Kelly running it in from 35 yards around the left side for the touchdown. The extra point kick by Garcia was no good to add to the lead 12 – 0 with 4:10 left in the first quarter.
San Manuel’s defense continued to the Dust Devils grounded as the Miners offense took the field.
Now in the second quarter, the Miners kept on moving as quarterback Bryan Valdez threw a pass to the right side of the field and connected with tight end Jonathan Croci for a seven yard touchdown reception. The two point conversion run was good by Kelly with 11:55 into the second quarter, to hold onto the lead 20 – 0.
The Miners defense held onto Santa Cruz – stopping them from getting a first down and setting up San Manuel’s offense with another score.
Kelly continued to move the ball down field, this time scoring on a 15 yard run around the right side for the touchdown. The tow point conversion run was good by Kelly with 6:10 left on the clock in the second quarter, bringing the score to 28 – 0.
San Manuel got the ball back one more time before the end of the first half as the stingy Miner defense stood their ground.
With the Miners set up at the Dust Devils one yard, Valdez handed off the ball to running back Jordan Peasley who barreled his way up the middle into the end zone for the one yard touchdown. The two point conversion run was good by Kelly with 2:50 left before half time, the Miners extended their lead to 36 – 0.
The Miners defense held the Dust Devils from scoring as the game went into the half with San Manuel holding onto the lead.
In the second half of play, the Miners defense was relentless as defensive back Isidro Wasko stepped in on a Santa Cruz pass intercepting the ball and returning it for a25 yard touchdown return. The extra point kick by Manny Chavez was good for a 43 – 0 score with 9:10 in the third quarter. The clock was now running and would not stop, only for injuries and time outs as imposed by the AIA ruling once a team is ahead by 42 points or more.
The Miners offense scored one more time in the fourth quarter as running back Ben Quijada ran 13yards around the right side for the touchdown. The extra point kick by Chavez was no good for a 49 – 0 lead with 9:50 left in the quarter.
Santa Cruz finally got on the score board late in the fourth quarter with 2:30 left in the game. The Dust Devils scored on a six yard pass into the end zone, the two point conversion was good for a final score of 49 – 8.
Offensively, Rushing: Shane Kelly rushed seven times for 115 yards with three touchdowns, Anthony Garcia rushed 11 times for 65 yards, Ben Quijada rushed seven times for 40 yards with one touchdown, Armando Sierra rushed 5 times for 30 yards, and Jordan Peasley rushed one time for one yard with one touchdown. Passing: Bryan Valdez completed 2 of 7 passes for 44 yards with one touchdown. Receiving: Jonathan Croci caught one pass for seven yards with one touchdown, and Alvaro Alvarez caught one pass for 37yards.
Defensively, Jonathan Croci had three tackles, with one sack for a 12 yard loss, and one Forced Fumble; Michael Sanchez had three tackles, with one sack for a five yard loss, with one Forced Fumble and one Fumble Recovery; Isidro Wasko had three tackles, and one interception for a 25yard return for a touchdown, with one Forced Fumble and one Fumble Recovery; Armando Sierra had three tackles; and Anthony Garcia had three tackles.
Head Coach Steve Elmore said, “It was a much needed win for the guys. I am proud that they played hard the entire game. Even when the second string came in, they played tough. We look to keep up the momentum against Baboquivari this Friday for Senior Night.”
The Miners will host the Warriors from Baboquivari on Friday night. The kick off is slated for 6 p.m.