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YC bests Antelope for second straight year
There wasn't a region title on the line or an undefeated regular season to complete or spoil.
That didn't diminish the spirit of the Yuma Catholic-Antelope rivalry Friday, especially with both teams preparing for potentially tough 2A state playoff matchups next week.
YC's quick-strike offense scored 21 points in the second quarter, and the defense wreaked havoc in the Rams' backfield often, as the Shamrocks defeated their archrival for the second consecutive year, 42-10 at Ricky Gwynn Stadium.
"These games are the toughest," YC coach Rhett Stallworth said of rivalry games. "They're worse than playoff games because of the way the fans are. They really want these games and the kids really want these games. They're good to win to use as a catapult into the playoffs."
On the third play of the game YC (9-1, 5-1 region) running back Austin Rodriguez took the handoff and exploded into the Rams' (5-4, 3-3 region) secondary, taking it 61 yards for the touchdown.
Rodriguez finished with 135 total yards from scrimmage — 107 of those rushing — and found the end zone three times. He also scored on a 20-yard slant and a 7-yard run.
YC sprinted out to a 28-3 halftime lead, but the Rams played the Shamrocks to a scoreless third quarter
"I don't like getting beat by 32 points, but I'm not at all disappointed, especially because of the way we played that second half," Antelope coach John Blabe said. "It did prepare us for the playoffs."
YC quarterback Matt Inman completed 17-of-28 pass attempts for 247 yards, with touchdown strikes of 20, 10 and 32 yards. Inman also dazzled with his feet, having a couple spectacular runs on broken plays called back by holding penalties.
Wide receiver Ernie Samaniego hauled in five receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns for the Shamrocks.
"Matt Inman just killed us when he got outside the pocket," Blabe said.
Antelope's touchdown came with 1 minute, 27 seconds to play, when Aaron Skousen rushed up the middle from 4-yards out.
YC linebacker Ricardo Rocha recorded three sacks, and safety Rod Ford halted two potential Antelope scoring drives with a pair of interceptions inside the 5-yard line.
"We're very thrilled with the defensive effort. We worked long and hard to gameplan for them," Stallworth said. "We were concerned with their trap play and passing the football.
"We tried to plan our blitzes around if they trapped, we would be in position to stop them, or if not, continue on to the quarterback. For the most part, it went well for us."
Antelope quarterback Chance Mixon completed 16-of-27 attempts for 162 yards. He hit wideout Eddie Castro for a 34-yard gain, down inside the YC 10, to set up the Rams' touchdown.
Mixon and Charles Fowler each had an interception on defense.
"Chance threw the ball very well under pressure. He took some shots," Blabe said. "Defensively, they're just bigger, faster, stronger, and we knew that coming in. (YC) is preparing for the playoffs next week and so are we. Our kids played as tough as they could, we just need to keep playing with this type of intensity."