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Gila Ridge trounces Criminals
And then there were none.
Gila Ridge can now claim to have beaten every team in the Gila Valley Region after knocking off the Yuma Criminals 50-14 Friday evening in a non-GVR matchup at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“It feels good. Winning any football game is good,” Hawks coach Jay Denton said. “We've been waiting a year and we've been working at it. Luckily, we came through and our kids played real well.”
The third-year program had never beaten Yuma High, losing 40-26 in 2008 and 61-21 last year. But with the victory, the Hawks have won their last five games against GVR opponents dating back to last season. To Yuma coach Tom Fox, it shows Gila Ridge (2-1 overall) is making progress.
“If you give coach Denton time here, I knew he was going to build a program,” Fox said. “They took a lot of our kids when they opened up. That hurt us. But it's not an excuse.”
Gila Ridge's Mike Pancrazi might be the best example of the program's growth.
On the Hawks first play of the third quarter, Pancrazi gave Gila Ridge a 37-6 lead with 5 minutes, 11 seconds left when he ran the option play to his right, wiggled free from a would-be tackler just as he was about to hit the turf and scampered 72 yards to the end zone with his left shoulder pad flapping out of his jersey.
“I was actually looking to pitch,” Pancrazi said. “But they cut up-field and I just took off right up the field.”
Pancrazi then missed the point-after kick and was knocked to the turf. He stayed down for several minutes before popping up and jogging back to the sidelines.
“As soon as I kicked it, I was spread all open and he just got me right on the gut,” he said.
Pancrazi completed all five of his passing attempts for 95 yards and a touchdown. He also gained 99 yards on the ground, adding another two scores.
Meanwhile, Yuma (0-3 overall) remains winless. Fox said he vows to bring changes.
“I thought we had a chance,” Fox said. “If we bring it, I think we do have a chance to beat anybody in the region. But we have not brought that effort. We've brought it for one quarter out of 12 so far. That's on me. I'll get it changed.
“I'll get some kids who will play hard on the field next week.”
Gila Ridge scored the game's first 18 points before Yuma got on the board when quarterback Makeala Chun hit a streaking Anthony Jackson for a 54-yard touchdown pass. Any thoughts Yuma had at a rally evaporated when Gila Ridge running back Andy Meza scored from 1-yard out to make it 24-6 with 39 seconds left in the first half. The Hawks then opened the second half with Corey Semler's 92-yard touchdown kickoff return.
Gila Ridge 50, Yuma 14
Yuma 0 6 0 8 — 14
Gila Ridge 12 12 14 12— 50
GR—Meza 3 run (kick blocked), 6:43.
GR—Dunn 5 run (kick failed), 4:06.Second Quarter
GR—Pancrazi 7 run (pass failed), 9:19.
Y—Jackson 54 pass from Chun (pass failed), 5:52.
GR-Meza 1 run (kick failed), :39.Third Quarter
GR—Semler 92 kickoff return (Pancrazi kick), 11:45.
GR—Pancrazi 72 run (Semler kick), 5:11.Fourth Quarter
GR—Semler 45 pass from Pancrazi (kick failed), 11:49.
GR—Harold 19 run (kick blocked), 10:48.
Y-Dorries 24 run (Clark run), 7:08.
First downs 15 13
Total Net Yards 285 365
Rushes-yards 44-214 38-270
Passing 71 95
Comp-Att-Int 4-12-1 5-5-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 6-30 12-73
RUSHING—Yuma, Clark 27-153, Chun 7-27, Jackson 5-23, Gomez 2-14, Dorries 1-24, Odum 1-(-5), Cabrera 1-(-22). Gila Ridge, Meza 10-34, Dunn 9-48, Pancrazi 7-99, Harold 6-79, Mejia 4-5, Semler 1-7, Gregory 1-(-2).
PASSING—Yuma, Chun 4-12-1-71. Gila Ridge, Pancrazi 5-5-0-95.
RECEIVING—Yuma, Jackson 1-54, Ramirez 1-11, Gomez 1-8, Clark 1-(-2). Gila Ridge, Rubio 2-23, Semler 1-45, Dunn 1-18, Meza 1-9.