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Gila Ridge pulls away in second half, beats Yuma High 21-0
Yuma High knocked briefly on the scoreboard's door at the end of the first half in Friday night's 21-0 loss against Gila Ridge, but no one was home.
A 46-yard completion from Yuma High quarterback Jeremy Conde put the Criminals at the 13-yard line. With one second on the clock, Conde fired another completion to David Stiles, who was tackled at the one-yard line as time expired.
A barrage of penalties kept the Criminals from doing much else as Gila Ridge opened its offense in the second half.
“Obviously, good teams have a hard time overcoming penalties,” said Yuma High head coach Tom Fox. “I think we're becoming a better team but we're nowhere near good enough to overcome those penalties.”
The yellow flag was tossed in Yuma High's direction 10 times for over 50 yards.
“That's silly, just stupid stuff,” Fox said. “Not watching the football and the delay of game killed us. I'll take the blame for that one, I didn't see the official's hand. Just silly penalties, and we just didn't finish. The guys got to challenge themselves.”
On the defensive side, both teams were dominant in the first half. Yuma High had two sacks and gave Gila Ridge running back Jordan Klostreich nowhere to go.
That all changed in the second half when Klostreich turned the two- and three-yard gains into eight and nine-yard gains. He also ripped off a 34-yard run that put the Hawks in position to score their second touchdown of the night.
“Jordan came up big tonight,” Gila Ridge head coach Jay Denton said. “He's really coming along as a running back. He's going to be a key player. He's still breaking some tackles. He's doing a good job.”
As for why it took 24 minutes for Klostreich to get going, Denton thinks it just came down to execution.
“We didn't execute the first half. We weren't blocking and we weren't getting off the line. We knew both teams would play hard. The second half we decided to start playing.”
Once Gila Ridge (5-2) scored the first time in the second half, Yuma High's spirit quickly faded.
“They got to get rid of that mentality, it's not acceptable,” Fox said. “I asked them two weeks ago how many people played as hard as they could and too many guys raised their hands tonight. You're 17 years old, you think you're playing as hard as you can but you can bring more to the table. So we're going to keep challenging them and hopefully we can beat Alhambra next week for homecoming.”
Though the defense was a bright side for Fox on Friday night, he said they can't afford to hang their heads.
“We played well. After the first time we played them, that's something that we concentrated on and our defensive line was good. Our secondary was a lot better tonight. I had guys that had their heads up and had fire in their eyes for about the first 24 minutes. And the minute you hang you're head, life's going to absolutely smack you in the face. They hung their head and somebody clocked them. It's just not acceptable.”
Next week Yuma High (2-5) will face Alhambra for homecoming and will work on finding that passion in practice this week.
“Obviously they need to work harder, we need to figure out something to do at halftime,” Fox said. “I challenge the seniors, what do we have to do at halftime to keep that emotion going because first half was great and second half they got down and weren't able to come out of it. Just hard work, that's what we've been doing for two weeks now and it's served us well.”
Next Friday Gila Ridge will host San Luis, whose losing streak was extended to 43 games in a 69-0 loss to Cibola.
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