Marauders declaw Panthers, 67-14

The Mingus football team crushed the Coconino Panthers Friday night, 67-14 to improve their record to 9-0 on the season. The Marauders are now one win away from being the 4A II Grand Canyon Region Champions and going into the State tournament ranked No. 1 in the State.

But before Coach Bob Young and the team could see ahead to the Bears, they had to focus on the Panthers, which they did very well.

The Marauders faced off against Coconino Friday night. The Panthers coming into the game were 0-8 and last in the region, so it may have been no big surprise that the Marauders hit them fast and hard.

Quarterback Tony Vocca started the scoring off for the Marauders, with just 22 clicks off the clock, he scored from a 2-yard run with 11:38 remaining in the first quarter. The PAT was missed and Mingus went up in a hurry, 6-0. It would take the Marauders eight minutes to score again, this time from a Trevor Jones' 5-yard run. Burns made the PAT and after one quarter, the Marauders were up, 13-0.

The second quarter was completely dominated by the Marauders. With 10:37 on the clock, Jones found pay-dirt again, this time from 3-yards out to make it 19-0. The Marauder defense kept the Panthers quiet throughout the first half while Mingus racked up the points.

With 6:23 left in the first half, the Marauders struck again. Layton Dickerson scored his first touchdown of the night on a tremendous 81-yard run. Burns made the extra point and the scoreboard read 26-0. Then with one minute left, Tyler Thompson took the ball 20 yards to the end zone. Burns made the extra point and at halftime the Marauders controlled the game 33-0.

In the second half, Coconino was able to score, but it didn't change the outcome of the game. Thompson started the scoring off for both teams in the second half with a 7-yard run. Burns punched in the extra point for a score of 40-0.

Then for the first time, the Panthers finally found the end zone on a Bennett 38-yard run with 8:13 left in the third quarter. They were successful in getting the 2-point conversion and Coconino was on the board with eight points.

That score would practically be erased when Tim Austil brought the Mingus fans to their feet with an 86-yard kickoff return for six points. Burns kicked in the PAT and the Mingus 40-point lead came back with the score 48-8.

The Marauder defense did their job on Coconino's next possession and kept them out of scoring range. On Mingus' next possession, it was Dickerson again for 33 yards on the ground with 5:41 left in the third quarter to make the score 54-8.

The 46-point lead caused a continuous clock for the remainder of the third quarter. With 11:03 left in the game, the lead was extended when Austil plucked a pass out of the air and ran it back 82-yards for a 6-point interception return. Burns made the extra point and Mingus led 61-8.

With the continuous clock ticking away, the Panthers tried desperately to get points on the board and squeeze the score closer. The Panthers were able to get two field goals in the fourth quarter for a total of six points. Both kicked in by Bennett, one from 30 yards and another from 35 yards. However, the offense would never be able to set foot inside the end zone due to the tough Marauder defense pushing them around.

The Panthers' second and final field goal made the score 61-14 with about two minutes left. It looked like that would be the final score. But Thompson wasn't done yet. Thompson fielded the kickoff and ran it downfield 76-yards for his third and final touchdown for a final score of 67-14.

In total, the Marauders had 342 rushing yards and 78 throwing yards for a total of 420 offensive yards. Individually, Layton Dickerson led on the ground with 185 yards on seven carries with two touchdowns and one reception for 40-yards.

Thompson came up big for Mingus with three touchdowns, two on the ground and one on a kickoff return. He racked up 35 yards on six carries rushing and one reception for six yards. Vocca finished the game up with nine carries for 80 yards and one touchdown. He also went 4-for-10 in the air for 78 yards.

Jones had seven carries for 42 yards with two touchdowns. To round out the scoring for Mingus, Tim Austil had an interception returned for a touchdown and a kickoff all the way back to the end zone for 13-points. Tim Kessel had a nice reception for 23 yards and Drew Burns went 7-for-10 on his PAT attempts.

Defensively the Marauders were relentless on the ground and in the air. Tim Austil and Carson Sandoval each had an interception while the defensive line mowed over the Panthers every chance they got.

Before the State tournament begins in a couple of weeks, the Marauders will face newcomer to the region, the Bradshaw Mountain Bears next Friday night at the Cave. Bradshaw is having a terrific year and is ranked No. 2 in the State. The upcoming showdown will decide who is the 4A II Grand Canyon Region Champ and may just decide which team is the No. 1 team in the State.

Next Friday's game will be at 7 p.m. at Mingus Union High School.

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