Marauders football looks to jump start season after win against North (With photo gallery).
Entering Friday night, things hadn't gone well for Mingus Union High School football. But in sports, things can change quickly.
That was the case, at least for this game. The Marauders defeated the North (Phoenix) High School Mustangs 40-14. Mingus gets its first win, is now 1-3. This was the last non-league game before the Marauders start section play.
The Mingus offense didn't score more than 14 points in any of its first three games. In this game, the Marauders had 16 about half way through the first quarter. It should be pointed out that the Mingus defense had a lot to do with the early offensive outburst.
On the first drive the Marauders intercepted the Mustangs. That set up a Mingus 2-yard touchdown run. On the next North possession, the Marauders recorded a safety. Following the punt, Mingus was put in good field position. On that drive, sophomore tight end Trevor Galloway scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Jordan Upham. It was Galloway's first touchdown of the season.
After the game, head coach Bob Young said the defense was what got the Marauders off to the great start.
"I thought the defense set the tone right off the bat," Young said. "That interception and that safety. I was a little disappointed in the offense at halftime. But second half the offense starting rolling a little bit. I thought in the second half that was the best we played offensively all year."
On offense, senior running back Orlando Machado had a huge game. Machado had 16 carries for 143 rushing yards and one touchdown. Machado has had a huge impact on the Marauders, despite never playing high school football before this season.
"He just plays all out all the time," Young said. "He's just a fire plug. He has a big heart."
Young added that this win can carry momentum into the rest of the season.
"Hopefully, we get some confidence from it," Young said. "We did some things well, we hadn't done well in that last three weeks. So, we'll watch the film and be positive about the things we did well and correct the things we did wrong and move forward."
Mingus held North scoreless for most of the game. The Mustangs got their first touchdown with under one minute to play in the third quarter. Then early in the fourth, North scored again and got the two-point conversion. At that point, the Mingus lead was down to 26-14.
"They did a good job," Young said. "On the long pass play, the kid just beat us. There wasn't much we could do on that. The other score, they had a couple of big runs on us. We just had some breakdowns. Except for those two drives, the defense played great. They dominated the game."
A big key to the Marauders defense was junior outside linebacker Zach Simmons.
"They key to tonight was we just swarmed to the ball," Simmons said. "The whole team played really fast. We just plugged the holes and swarmed as a team."
Simmons said penalties were part of the reason the Marauders gave up the two touchdowns.
"Penalties put us in bad field position he said. "Still inexcusable by the defense."
Section play starts for Mingus next week at home against Bradshaw Mountain. Although the Marauders are 1-3, they can still make the playoffs with a strong section record.
"We have the biggest game in our opinion next week," Simmons said.
He mentioned everyone on the team will need to play hard in order for the Marauders to win.
"It's going to take a total team effort," Simmons said. "We need to win all three aspects of the game. Offense, defense and special teams."