PR defense the story in playoff win - The Explorer: Sports

PR defense the story in playoff win

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Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 12:00 am | Updated: 1:27 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

When your offense averages nearly 50 points a game, your team's record is 8-1, and your quarterback amasses the most passing yards in Southern Arizona, it's easy to forget about the defense.

In Pusch Ridge's 56-7 first round playoff win over Morenci, the defense took center stage.

After a season-opening loss, the Lions defense has allowed less than seven points a game in their eight wins. That defensive effort continued into their first playoff game, as they held Morenci to one touchdown, 197 yards of offense, forced five fumbles, and scored nine points on defense.

Ryan Tanner fell on a fumble in the end zone to give Pusch Ridge a 44-7 lead with under three minutes left in the first half. The defense also came up with the opening score of the second half when defensive lineman Ryan Polston sacked Morenci's quarterback Nunu Lopez in the end zone for a safety.

But the greatest defensive play of the game was probably turned in by John Jackson in the second quarter. On a run by Lopez, Jackson came up to meet him, then wrestled the ball out of his hands for a fumble recovery, giving the Lions the ball at the Morenci 32-yard line.

The defensive star was Polston, who recorded four sacks.

"He (Polston) was a beast," said quarterback Greg Schimke.

Morenci scored the game's first touchdown on a 71-yard touchdown pass from Lopez to Rey Holguin for an early 7-0 lead.

"Morenci came out with fire," Polston said. "We had to tell our guys to focus."

A 23-yard run by Tyler Vance and a 15-yard scamper by Schimke set up a 20-yard touchdown pass from Schimke to Mitch Woody, after Schimke had rolled to his left.

The Lions scored touchdowns on five consecutive possessions in the first half in building a 34-7 lead. Brett Overstreet ran six yards for a score, and Schimke connected with Tyler Kaveloh on a 6-yard strike in the second to make it 21-7.

"We knew they were a decent team," Schimke said. "Ever since the first game, we expect to get (at least) 40 points."

Offensively, Schimke completed 13 out of 24 passes for 177 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 52 yards.

Overstreet gained 57 yards rushing on 12 carries, and also caught three passes for 25 yards. Trever Cook caught four passes for 58 yards and two touchdowns, while Tyler Vance had three catches for 59. Despite being roughed up early, kicker Chad Springetti drilled two field goals, a 35-yarder and a 41-yarder. He also converted on all his extra point kicks.

"It feels great (to win)," Polston said. "The way that it should be."

The No. 4 Lions host No. 5 Yuma Catholic on Friday. In spite of the team's 8-1 regular-season record, coach Bob Vance wasn't overconfident against a young Morenci team.

"You never know how they're going to respond for sure," Vance said. "We have a lot of seniors, but some guys hadn't played football before this year."

Yuma Catholic is "good," Vance said. "They've been there before. It will be a good one.

"This team's never been past the second round before. We're trying to change that."

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

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