The calendar has turned and Desert Edge reaffirmed its commitment to “November football” in its home win over rival Millennium.
The Scorpions’ 21-7 victory on November 5 featured its offensive line opening holes for stable junior full-back Christopher Cordero, the ball-control passing game led by senior quarterback Adryan Lara’s connection to the juniors Gavin Parks and opportunistic special teams.
More than anything, Desert Edge (7-2, 4-0) relied on a defense that has matured. The unit kept Millennium Zues Pindernation second-year running back 65 yards, 85 yards below his season average, and shouted until the final five minutes.
“In November and December you have to be able to handle football and play defense. It’s November 5th, so we’re going to handle football and play defense, and that’s what we did tonight,” Desert Edge co-trainer and said defensive coordinator Marcus Carter. “We knew it would be physical. We have physical practices, so we’re built for it.”
That said, the game turned on one punt per minute until half-time. At this point, Desert Edge has dominated possession time and limited Millennium to just 15 offensive plays.
Still, the home team were only leading 7-0 as half-time approached, as post-game unsportsmanlike conduct penalties stopped two long runs.
A bad snap canceled the timing of Millennium’s 34-yard field goal attempt with 4:55 left to play at the half. Another low snap slipped from the grass and caused the Tigers punter to line the ball with his knee down to his own 9.
“Our defense played the game. The game plan is working. Lamar Early said.“ We didn’t execute when we had the chance. The failed basket and the snap just before half-time. These are brutal. “
The Scorpions immediately took advantage, Lara throwing a nine-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Matthew Willis.
Cordero and Parks dominated the statistics of the first half and the other touchdown of the Scorpions.
Parks caught three passes for 18 yards and the other six plays were runs from Cordero. He finished the race with a two-yard touchdown.
At halftime, Parks had nine catches for 65 yards and Cordero had 15 carries for 63 yards. This is Cordero’s fourth game as a main-back and he has mingled in an offensive line with four new starters around Michigan State-linked Gavin Broscious.
“In Ironwood it really clicked. It was a close game and they kept giving me the ball,” Cordero said. “Adryan is my guy, we’re very close. The whole offense is really, really close. I had fun. The online line did a great job and I’m just grateful for my opportunities.”
#WestValleyPreps # AZPreps365 @DEdgeFootball offense was all WR Gavin Parks (5 catches) and RB @chriscxdero (9 litters) so far and it works. Cordero completed a 42-yard drive with this 2-yard TD 7-0 Desert Edge 2:56 first quarter pic.twitter.com/YGfgEkpIFl
– Richard Smith (@RsmithYWV) November 6, 2021
The Scorpions’ longest game of the night, a 19-yard drop from Parks to Lara, established their third touchdown in the third quarter. Cordero buried himself from 1 to the next game.
Desert Edge co-coach and offensive coordinator Mark Carter said Lara’s deep ball threat opened up the running game and the short passing game. He credited the four-year-old starter for his intelligence and selflessness, checking to run plays with Cordero in a rhythm and taking the throws the defense gave him.
“It was important for us to be balanced and not one-dimensional. They played four times and lost eight most of the game,” said Lara. “They’re not one of my most talented receiving groups, but they’re by far the smartest. They know what areas to find and understand the coverage patterns.”
Millennium (4-5, 1-3) had more ball and better scoring chances in the second half.
At fourth and 10 points on the Scorpions’ 21, junior Marvalous Hannon broke a pass from Millennium senior quarterback Blake Sparks to senior wide receiver Samuel Kelly in the end zone.
Second-year defensive back Aundre Gibson knocked out Sparks in the Tigers’ next practice, returning the interception to Millennium 33 and setting up Cordero’s touchdown.
“Although we have a very young defense, people don’t realize we had very good players ahead of them. They were getting quality reps but were behind very good seniors. Marcus Carter said.” Hats off to those seniors ( last year) for showing these guys how to be. (Mark) has four tries in every game because our defense is going to stand up. We’re starting three sophomores and I’m really proud of them. “
Millennium finally scored in the fourth after a 43-yard bomb from Sparks to Kelly. A pass interference call moved the Tigers to 11, where junior backer Giovanni Peru ran for 10, then 1, to score.
Don’t be fooled by the Tigers’ record. It was their biggest loss of the year, with the other four winning 1, 2, 5 and 7 points.
All of these teams are heading for the playoffs. At No.12 in 5A, Millennium is expected to join them – only needing to make a game or two to reverse their playoff plight.
The first game is senior night at the Millennium on November 12. The opponent is on the move for the time being after Ironwood was forced to call off their game against Fairfax this week due to COVID cases in the squad.
“If we can put together a game… we just can’t miss chances against a good football team,” said Early.
Desert Edge came in 7th place in 5A and is expected to overtake former 5th Verrado after the Vipers’ loss to Sunrise Mountain on November 5th.
The Scorpions end their season at Verrado next week with the chance to win an undisputed regional title and make a statement to the rest of 5A
“We want to be the best in weeks 11, 12, 13 and 14. Our special teams are better. Our coaches do a really good job coaching these guys. It’s a blessing when you have guys around. who you can trust, ”said Mark Carter. .
– Richard Smith (@RsmithYWV) November 6, 2021