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Chandler routs Crims
It continues to be a long and hard road for the Yuma High football team this season.
The Criminals came into Friday night's game knowing the face another big challenge going against Chandler.
Yuma came out trying to their offense going right away, but a few misplays and some poor tackling let Chandler gain momentum which they would not relinquish as the Wolves dominated the Criminals 56-0.
"We competed throughout the whole game, there's no question about that," said Yuma coach Tom Fox. "We got stuck in a Catch-22, the more things we tried to do, the deeper the hole we had to come out of."
Yuma started the game with a solid offensive drive. After a 33 yard completion from Andrew Herrarte to Eric Rivas, and a couple of Wolves penalties, the Criminals found themselves quickly at the Chandler six yard line. Then a couple of Yuma penalties took them out of the red zone and a third and goal pass by Herrarte was picked off in the corner of the end zone.
Chandler took over and used their power running game to march over the Yuma defense. After runs of 10, 9, 12 and 15 yards, the Wolves drive was quickly finished off by a 50 yard touchdown run by Jamil Hines.
Yuma looked to answer back. Their drive stalled quickly at their own 23 yard line and forced the Criminals into a punting situation. A botched snap turned out to be exactly what the offense needed as kicker Oscar Marin was forced to run the ball, but got behind the defense for a 17 yard gain.
Unfortunately from there the offense continued to sputter and all momentum would swing in Chandler's direction. The Wolves scored on their next four strait possessions from distances of 40, 25, 71 and 39 yards.
It looked like the Criminals were about to get something going late in the second quarter when they recovered a fumble by Wolves quarterback Kyle Yount at the Chandler 40 yard line. However, the Yuma offense only moved backwards and the half was finished off by Herrarte getting picked off at midfield by Declan Wall, who ran it back for a Wolves touchdown.
The Criminals came out in the second half desperate to get something started, so they tried an onside kick. But the Chandler special teams held onto the ball and three plays later they were back in the end zone on a 43 yard run by Taylor Walstad. He would also score on the Wolves next drive, this time via a 72 yard run.
It would be a this point, when the game was all but over, that J.C. Baker finally gave the home fans something to cheer for. Following the handoff, Baker broke to the outside and sprinted upfield while breaking multiple tackles for a 66 yard run. The Criminals would not be able to get into the end zone and eventually turned the ball over on downs, but it still did not take away from Baker's effort. He finished the night with 96 yards rushing, 16 yards receiving and even nine yards passing.
"I saw more from Baker tonight in a 56-0 loss than I have from our other players all season long," said Fox. "He would not come out the game and kept competing. People will see through the end of this year and into next year just how special of a player he is."