Marauders hobbled by injuries, losses

Staff photo by Jared Dort

Trainer Mike Boysen attends to Marauder Guy Lightfoot (18) suring Friday night's game against visiting Apollo.

Looking to wash away the sour taste of last week’s 64-7 loss at Moon Valley, the Marauders instead suffered another frustrating defeat on Friday night. This time, unranked Apollo inflicted the damage, 35-21, to spoil homecoming night in Cottonwood.

The loss drops Mingus to 1-4, while the Hawks improved to 2-2. The last win for Bob Young’s troops came Aug. 27 against Sandra Day O’Connor.

Injuries have been the biggest spoiler for the Marauders so far this season. They continued to take their toll on Friday and in the days leading up to game five of the season.

Mingus was already without starters like James Paisano (TE/DE), Tate Stearley (FB) and Joey Rosas (WR), all injured before the Moon Valley game. Rojas returned this week, but starting running back Corby Rice suffered a knee injury in practice. He could be lost for several weeks.

QB Jay Arthur played with a shoulder injury in the Apollo game, and others like DB Guy Lightfoot and LB/FB Scott Adams also were dinged up as the contest progressed.

Of the Marauders’ 11 seniors, only five or six were dressed out Friday night. Mingus finished the game with an entirely underclassmen offensive line, including freshman Aaron Hauser at center.

The youthful lineup simply struggled to stop the run and establish its own dominant attack.

Apollo wracked up 303 rushing yards, led by 100-yard backs Joe Young and Chris Nielson.

Young broke off touchdown jaunts of 65 and 75 yards in the third quarter as the Hawks pulled out to a 28-7 lead. He finished with 147 yards on 14 totes.

The Marauders got as close as 28-21 in the fourth quarter after a pair of TD runs by junior Ryan Hauser, starting in Rice’s stead. Hauser’s first score came on a 39-yard jaunt, while the second came on a 1-yard plunge.

But Apollo iced it when Young scored again, this time on a 6-yard rush.

Mingus has already given up 1,158 yards rushing in five games, including 289 to Moon Valley last week and 267 to Thunderbird the week before that.

Hauser definitely proved a bright spot in the Marauders’ offensive attack. He became the team’s first 100-yard back of the season, finishing with 112 yards on 18 carries. The previous season best was 64 yards by Corby Rice in the opener against O’Connor.

Hauser scored all three Mingus TDs on Friday. His 11-yard run late in the second quarter gave the Marauders a brief 7-6 lead. But Apollo’s Ralph Cruz returned the kickoff 80 yards to put the Hawks back up by a TD.

Jon Bodam added 45 rushing yards, while Jay Arthur managed to rush for 44. Adams had 10 yards in his first carries of the season.

Arthur was 3-for-5 in the passing department for 35 yards. Brian Libby saw his first varsity action at QB, but did not complete a pass. Rojas hauled in two catches for 48 yards.

Jake Arthur earned one sack on defense. The Marauders did not force a turnover for the first time this season.

Things don’t get much easier in the coming weeks. Three straight road trips are on deck.

It begins with Prescott this Friday. The Badgers improved to 3-1 with Friday’s 29-24 win over Payson. They rushed for 500-plus yards two weeks ago against Sunnyslope.

The Grand Canyon Region campaign begins the following week with a date at Sinagua (2-2), followed by a visit to Payson (4-1).

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