Mingus Union football continues to trample through the 4A II Grand Canyon region. The latest victims were the Coconino Panthers. The Marauders made short-order of the Panthers, beating them 48-0 Friday night at home.
From the first drive to the final minutes of the game, the Marauders had control. Mingus set the tone on the opening drive, marching the ball down field to score on a 19-yard pass from Brian Libby to Trevor Jones up the middle.
Travis Wokasch, who returned as the PAT kicker, split the uprights and in a blink of an eye, the Marauders led 7-0.
On Coconino's first drive, they started from their own 10-yard line. The punishing Marauder defense continued their dominating ways and it was no different against the Panthers. Cory Ferguson put the hurt on the Panthers' quarterback with a huge sack in the backfield, forcing Coconino to punt deep in their own territory.
Three plays later Coconino picked off a Libby pass down at the 8-yard line and the Panthers looked tough, stopping Mingus' momentum.
With the Marauder defense back on the field, they did their job again and stopped Coconino and forced them to punt after going three and out.
Continuing with their very effective hurry-up offense, Libby handed off to Thompson who ran the ball 35 yards into the end zone, to put Mingus up 14-0 after a Wokasch PAT with 3:11 left on the clock.
The Marauders got the ball back with about a minute left in the first quarter. On first down and 10, Dickerson broke through Coconino tacklers and ran the ball up the right hand side 57 yards to the end zone. The big run put the Marauders up 21-0 after another Wokasch PAT with 58 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Panthers weren't making any progress throughout the first quarter and by the end of the first 12 minutes, the Marauders pushed and shoved the Panthers all the way back to their own 10-yard line. This set up an improbable third and 28 to start the second quarter. The Panthers had to punt the ball away after an incomplete pass gave them fourth and long.
Two possessions later, Brandon Holmes punted the ball end over end and the Panthers fumbled the ball on the return. Dickerson, on his horse, got down field and recovered the fumble.
On Coconino's 12-yard line, Jones broke two tackles and powered through for the Marauders' fourth touchdown of the night. Wokasch kicked the PAT and with 4:51 left in the first half, Mingus led 28-0.
The second quarter wasn't going to be Coconino's quarter. On first down, the Panther quarterback threw the ball up the middle and through two receivers; Harold Mitchell jumped up and snagged the ball out of the air for the interception.
The huge turnover by Mitchell gave the ball back to Mingus on Coconino's 46-yard line. But three plays later, Libby found a Panther defender for an interception and the Panthers quickly get the ball back with about three minutes left in the half.
Coconino was silenced and punted the ball away with 1:41 still on the clock.
With the clock down to 20 seconds before halftime, Mingus was determined to score once more. On first down, Libby passed to Dickerson for 34 yards to set up a one-yard touchdown by Libby with six seconds left on the clock.
So, as the teams retire into the locker room for halftime, the Marauders led the Panthers, 35-0.
The Marauder defense dominated the Panthers in the first half, allowing only 19 total offensive plays for a negative four offensive Coconino yards.
To start the second half, the Panthers got the ball on their own 38 yard line. But like before, the Panthers were unable to make some real progress and punted the ball away.
For the first time of the night, the Marauders started deep in their own territory from their own 16-yard line. On third down, Libby handed off to Miskiel who turned on the afterburners and took it all the way down field for a 76-yard touchdown with 9:17 left in the third quarter. The PAT was no good and Mingus extended their lead 41-0.
The Panthers got the ball back but Wokasch jumped up and snagged a huge interception on Mingus' 49 yard line. The turnover would later result in another Mingus touchdown. This time from a Tyler Thompson 18-yards run for a 47-0 lead. Wokasch converted the extra point kick to make it 48-0 with 6:10 left to go in the third quarter.
Neither team scored for the rest of the game while the 48-0 lead caused the clock to continually run because of the mercy rule.
The Mingus defense stopped just about everything, allowing the Panthers only 79 total offensive yards for the game while the Marauders racked up 460 total yards, 313 of which were in the first half alone.
The win improves the Marauders' record to 7-2 overall and 3-0 in conference play. Coconino dropped to 2-6. The win over the Panthers ensured that the Marauders will host the first round of the playoffs.
Next week the Marauders host the Bradshaw Mountain Bears for their homecoming game. Then Mingus will travel to Sinagua to face off against the Mustangs in the final conference game of the year. The win against the Mustangs will make Mingus the 4A II Grand Canyon region champions.