COTTONWOOD - It didn't take long for the Marauders to get on the board Friday night as 8-minutes into the game, Anthony Accurso punched in his first touchdown of the night from 4-yards out. After the ensuing kickoff, Moon Valley fumbled a hand off and the Marauders recovered.
The very next play quarterback Jordan Upham found Trevor Galloway in the endzone to make it 14-0 Marauders after a Trey Meyer field goal.
After a Moon Valley punt at the 5:25 mark, the Marauder offense came back out onto the field.
Upham connected with Tristan Clark for a 37-yard pass that looked like it was a touchdown, but it was called back. Clark stepped out of bound at the 18-yard line.
On third down, Upham dropped back and tossed up a jump ball for Accurso in the back of the end zone. The pass was deflected and the Marauders were forced to kick a field goal to make it 17-0.
At the 2:37 mark in the first quarter Mingus recovered another fumble, but were unable to make anything of it as Trey Meyer came onto punt and pinned the Rockets on their own three-yard line. A Mingus horse collar gave the Rockets a little room to move, but the Marauders didn't let them get far as Pete Kelly brought down Moon Valley quarterback Shane Piper for a three-yard loss on third down.
The Marauders weren't able to do much on their next drive and were forced to punt. Moon Valley senior Nick Carlon returned the Trey Meyer punt 73-yards for the first Rockets touchdown of the night. But the Marauders answered back. On a nifty misdirection call, Anthony Accurso broke away down the right sideline for his second touchdown of the night, this time from 67-yards out. Trey Meyer tacked on the extra point and the Marauders were up 24-7.
At the four-minute mark, junior Josh Scalf recovered his second fumble of the night, but the Marauders gave the ball right back to Moon Valley. With 2:45 left in the half, the Rockets went for it on 4th down and were unsuccessful. The Marauders took over and in stepped Upham. The senior gunslinger dropped back and found connected with Clark on a 67-yard touchdown pass that put Mingus up 30-7 at the end of the 1st half.
In the second half, the Marauders stretched their lead when Alec Phyfer found the endzone from 48-yards out that put the Marauders up 37-7. On the next Rockets drive, Tyler Kelly picked off a Piper pass to bring the Marauders offense back onto the field. This time, Trey Meyer stepped in at quarterback for the Marauders, and it seemed like the offense didn't miss a beat. Meyer connected with Accurso on a 36-yard touchdown pass that put Mingus even further ahead.
The Rockets did not quit though. Moon Valley marched down the field after the Accurso touchdown, and punched one in the endzone. Piper scampered through the Mingus defense for a 26-yard touchdown run that put the score at 44-14. After an unsuccessful drive for the Marauders, Moon Valley was on the move again threatening to put another six on the board. Moon Valley drove down to the 3-yard line, before junior Cody Merow stripped the running back and returned it all the way to the Mingus 31-yard line.
The Marauders took advantage of the great defensive play and put their final touchdown of the night on the board. Meyer found Alejandro Stabreff in the back of the endzone for a 30-yard touchdown reception, his only catch of the night.
The Rockets runningback Cody Buckholz punched one more in for the Rockets at the 8:42 mark but the Marauders cruised to a homecoming victory over the visiting Rockets.
Senior gunslinger Jordan Upham finished with 165 yards passing and 58 yards rushing, while Meyer finished with 30 yards passing and 21 yards rushing according to Maxpreps.com. Anthony Accurso was another top performer for the Marauders, racking up 101 yards rushing on five attempts and punching the ball into the back of the endzone twice. Accurso also had a score through air. Tristan Clark was the top performer in the receiving game racking up 114 yards on four catches with one touchdown.
On the defensive side of the ball, Pete Kelly tallied the only sack for the Marauders, while Tyler Kelly had the only interception. Jose Pacheco and Cody Merow both had a fumble recovery on the night while, Josh Scalf tallied two for the Marauders defense. Head Coach Bob Young was happy with the win, and thought a great couple weeks of practice attributed to the Marauders victory.
"We have had a good couple weeks of practice, and we are just getting better," Head Coach Bob Young said after the game. "We are going to have to continue that too, because we have Bradshaw coming up next week and they are good."
The Marauders take on a 4-1 Bradshaw Mountain next week that beat Thunderbird Friday night 38-13.
Their only loss so far this season came at the hands of Arcadia, in their first game of the season. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. next week in Mingus as one of the two teams will move to 5-1 on the season.