Thu, April 02

Undefeated Coconino too much for Mingus

Mingus junior Andrew Nahar catches 25-yard touchdown pass during the Marauders’ 52-14 loss to Coconino on Friday night at home. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus junior Andrew Nahar catches 25-yard touchdown pass during the Marauders’ 52-14 loss to Coconino on Friday night at home. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus Union football’s losing streak continued on Friday night at the hands of undefeated Coconino.

The Panthers (4-0, 1-0 Grand Canyon) topped the Marauders (0-5, 0-1 Grand Canyon) 52-14 at MUHS.

“Coconino’s a good football team, they’re gonna grind it out on the ground as we saw,” Mingus head coach Robert Ortiz said. “You gotta be able to fight down in the trenches with them for a full four quarters and if you get one or two guys out of position defensively man, they’ll make you pay for it; and you have to be able to wrap up their running backs they got, those kids are slippery. But we had our chances. It’s kinda that same story different week, we’re getting big play after big play after big play offensively and then we shot ourselves in the foot.

“A couple penalties, bad snap and next thing you know it’s second and 15, second and 20 and you’re having to make up for that when we just went four plays in a row, we should be scoring,” Ortiz said. “So that’s what you’re seeing, you’re seeing a team that’s full of fighters but it’s just one or two guys that are out of position and the other 10 pay for it and then a lack of execution by one or two guys and everything else looks a little differently.”

Week 4 scores

4A Grand Canyon

Bradshaw Mountain 35, Lee Williams 20

Prescott 48, Flagstaff 7

Mohave 70, Dysart 49

2A Verde

Trivium Prep 47, Chandler Prep 28

Parker 34, Antelope Union 28

Heritage Academy Laveen 20, Tonopah Valley 7


Desert Edge 42, Poston Butte 12

Glendale 68, Youngker 33

Mesquite 55, Buckeye Union 32

Greenway 13, Deer Valley 3


Glendale Prep 26,

Sedona Red Rock 16

Arizona Lutheran 59, Tempe Prep 0

Hopi 32, Rock Point 12

Globe 28, Tombstone 19

The Panthers jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter. They went ahead 21-0 after the Marauders committed three penalties in a row and on 1st and 25 had a bad snap that Coconino recovered and ran about 40 yards to score.

The Marauders settled down and scored after a 57-yard pass to senior Peter Calandra.

“I’m disappointed that we lost and everything but we’ve been working on it,” Calandra said. “We had a good week of practice and we’re hoping to have another one like that. Right now we’re just playing like 11 players instead of one team and if one person’s off page, then that could break it. So we’re trying to fix that up and hopefully get a win next week when we go down to Kingman.”

With their narrow home win over Mingus Union last year, Coconino earned their first 4-0 start since 1992. It was the Panthers’ first win over the Marauders since 2011. Mingus Union won those games 56-0, 78-6, 38-0, 41-13, 49-7 and 28-17.

Yet now the Panthers, under first year head coach Mike Lapsley, have turned the tables in the Grand Canyon Region rivalry.

“My hat’s off to Coconino, they’ve done a great job of turning that program around,” Ortiz said. “They’ve got their youth program on board. They’ve got the community on board, they got it going on. They got a football class, which is something we’re lacking right now, just some resources and things that they have that we don’t but you’re seeing that our kids can compete. But like I said, my hat’s off to them because they’re doing everything that you need or should be doing to build a program. They have all the resources, they’re doing a great job Coach Lapsely’s doing a great job with those guys and those kids buy in man Buy in is huge and you’re seeing buy in in the community from the high school level all the way down to the youth level and that’s what it takes.”

The week before in their 48-23 loss to Chandler Seton Catholic, Ortiz said it was the “same story.”

“Against Seton Catholic we had our chances, we were moving the ball on ‘em, defensively we were stopping ‘em early and then as we grew tired and those types of things, things started shutting down a little bit,” Ortiz said. “But outside of that these kids are fighters, they’re going to fight up until the clock says zero, which is huge I was ready to pack it in, call it a night and our kids are like ‘nah coach, we’re taking a shot, let’s go for it.’ So that tells me they’re there, they’re hungry, they’re motivated, they’re seeing their constant mistakes, they just gotta be able to finish and do a couple things differently, you know what I mean and if they can close out drives and get off the field on third down, our record would look a lot different right now.”


The Marauders travel to Lee Williams on Friday.

Their next home game is Oct. 4 against Mohave.

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