PRCA making ‘some strides’ - The Explorer: Sports

PRCA making ‘some strides’

New team hopes positive attitude will overcome growing pains

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Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 3:00 am

Pusch Ridge Christian Academy has had a rough start to the 2011-2012 football season, dropping a third consecutive game Friday night against Tanque Verde.

With only a handful of returning players, the team is working hard to overcome the problems that come with a roster of so many new, inexperienced players.

“We’re struggling with growing pains,” Lions coach Bob Vance said. “Young thinking. But the program has a positive attitude.”

During Friday’s game against the visiting Tanque Verde Hawks, the Lions got off to a good start when senior Tyler Sasse returned an interception 22 yards for a first-quarter touchdown. The resulting 6-0 lead over Tanque Verde gave Pusch Ridge fans hope. Sadly, the glory was short-lived.

The Lions offense didn’t score until the fourth quarter in a 24-12 loss to the Hawks.

Two years ago, the Lions had state title game aspirations, led by the quarterbacking of then-senior Greg Schimke, one of Southern Arizona’s most prolific passers. The dream ended with a second-round playoff loss.

In 2010, Schimke was gone, but there were still plenty of seasoned seniors and the team returned to the playoffs again, losing in the first round.

The 2011 Lions look a lot different from the 2009 squad.

“We have four guys with varsity experience,” Vance said. “Josh Brock and Robert Ferrari are back.”

Junior Grayson Barghols is emerging as one of the most promising new players.

“We’ve got to get the whole team coming together as a unit,” Barghols said. “We’ve got to study it, and leave the rest to God.”

Still, the Lions’ offense did put together an impressive drive in the fourth quarter. Sophomore quarterback Jacob Frithsen completed a fourth-down pass to Barghols to the Hawks’ 19-yard line, on a 24-yard pickup up.

A cramp forced Barghols to be pulled for the second time, but the drive continued to flourish. A pass-interference call against the Hawks set the Lions up at the 12-yard line with a first down.

A run by Frithsen and a couple of completions to Brock moved the ball down to the 1-yard line. Frithsen ran it in with 9:15 left, but a run on the two-point conversion attempt failed, which cut the Lions deficit to 17-12.

Barghols finished with seven catches for 115 yards. Brock caught three passes for 19 yards. Frithsen completed 15 of 28 passes for 180 yards and two interceptions.

In the fourth quarter, Connor Reilly made a big hit on a fourth-and-one to stop the Hawks, and give the ball to the Lions, who were still trailing 17-12.

But lack of experience hurt the Lions when Frithsen made a novice decision and threw a pass that was intercepted by the Hawks’ David Novak.

A few plays later, Novak put the game away with a 48-yard touchdown run.

Hawks’ quarterback Novak, rushed for 177 yards and three touchdowns. He also completed six of eight passes for 62 yards, kicked a 33-yard field goal and averaged 34 yards per punt.

The Lions had lost their first two games by a combined score of 103-14. The 12-point loss to the Hawks showed marked improvement.

“We’re obviously rebuilding,” Brock said. “We don’t have the experience. We made some strides tonight. This helped us.”

The Lions held a 6-3 lead with less than three minutes left in the first half. But then the mistakes took another bite out of the Lions’ efforts.

Turning things around won’t be easy, but the team continues to focus on where improvements can be made.

“It’s small things like making the catch after you’re open,” Brock said. “Running precise routes. And blocking. There’s still a lack of communication.”

The Lions will play at Bisbee at 7 p.m. on Friday night.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

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

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

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

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

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

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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