|Written by Brian Bergner Jr.|
|Friday, 23 September 2011 00:00|
Having lost their first two games of the 2011 season, the Marauders seem to be back on track, evening their record at 2-2 with a 54-0 whipping of rival Flagstaff High School on Friday, Sept. 16.
In the first two weeks of the season, Mingus Union High School football players looked more like extras in “The Walking Dead” rather than a football team.
It was the first 0-2 start for the Marauders since the mid-1990s when many of this year’s players were still crawling around their living room floors.
Mingus fans can personally thank senior Carlos Abrigo for lifting the Marauders out of the two-game funk.
“That’s two games in a row now where Carlos [Abrigo] stepped up and made some plays. I think after the Bradshaw [Mountain] game he decided to take it upon himself to make plays,” longtime Mingus Head Coach Bob Young said.
Against Flagstaff at the Walkup Skydome on the campus of Northern Arizona University, Abrigo scored five touchdowns, or 30 points out of Mingus’ 54. Abrigo had 12 carries for 104 yards and four touchdowns to go along with his 52-yard touchdown catch to begin the second half.
Abrigo had three scores and 138 yards rushing Sept. 9 in the win over Chino Valley High School, bringing his two-week total to eight total touchdowns.
If that wasn’t enough, he also blocked a punt Friday to help set up a Mingus score from the 1-yard line in the beginning of the second quarter.
Mingus took a 34-0 lead at halftime as Abrigo scored four times to lead the Marauders into the locker room.
Junior quarterback Luke Simmons was 6-9 for 105 yards and two touchdowns. The Marauders offense had 478 yards of total offense against the rival Eagles, 373 of which was on the ground.
Sophomore Anthony Broyles had seven carries for 96 yards and a touchdown and senior Jordan Westover had one carry for seven yards and a touchdown. Westover’s 17-yard score came with 3:05 left in the game to seal the deal for Mingus.
Defensively, the Marauders forced seven turnovers by the Eagles, recording three interceptions and four fumble recoveries. It is the first Mingus shutout recorded over its rival Flagstaff in school history, according to Young.
“This group is the first to do it. Frankly, we’ve been disappointed with our defense and it took them four games, but they finally got it together,” Young said.
Junior Zach Pelletier along with seniors Brandon Morales and Justin Zaske each recorded a sack, helping the Marauders defense record their first shutout of the season.
With the victory over Flagstaff, Mingus improves its record to 2-2 overall this season. The win jumps the Marauders a few spots in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point polls to No. 13 overall.
Young suggested his Mingus team probably needed to win its remaining games if the Marauders want to receive a top eight seed in the Division IV state playoffs come November. The top eight seed would get Mingus a first-round home game.
Mingus can start making headway on that particular goal Friday, Sept. 23, when it plays host to struggling Cortez High School for homecoming week.
Cortez is 0-4 this season, with opponents outscoring them 191-22 this year in four games. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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