PHOENIX — Santa Cruz Valley coach Rishard Davis will be the first to say that no opponent should be taken lightly, yet Thursday night’s game against Heritage Academy Laveen was a cakewalk for the Dust Devils as they hammered the Heroes 61-15.
The Dust Devils had a short week, but fatigue was not a problem. While most teams try to make practice light, the Santa Cruz athletes weren’t taking things easy.
“I was trying to make it light for the guys but the players, they called their own practice on Wednesday,” Davis said. “We only had Monday and Tuesday planned, and I was going to give them the day off but they wanted to practice so we let them practice.”
It basically took one half for the Dust Devils to claim their third win of the season as they lead 55-8.
Santa Cruz only needed one play to score first after a Heroes punt gave the Dust Devils great position which lead to a 10-yard touchdown by Hunter Ogle.
Heritage Academy then barely got off a short run for minimal gain before quarterback Nathan Estrada was picked off by Dylan Hukill near midfield.
Dust Devils quarterback Wyatt Ogle opened the drive with nearly a 35-yard run to bring Santa Cruz within scoring territory.
A quick 8-yard rush by Hunter Ogle was followed by a short reception by Orlando Davis Jr., as Hunter Ogle capped off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown.
The Heroes managed to get on the board with a long pass touchdown from Estrada to Kyle Boblett of approximately 60 yards.
Heritage Academy converted for two points to make it a 14-8 game with 1:51 left in the first quarter.
Less than two minutes was all the Dust Devils needed, as the Ogles combined for 60 yards on three carries, and Hunter Ogle scored his third touchdown of the quarter.
Estrada struggled to get the Heroes to midfield as he was picked off in the second quarter, this time by Orlando Davis Jr.
For the Dust Devils, Wyatt Ogle connected with David Avilez for an 11-yard touchdown reception.
Santa Cruz’s offensive line did a solid job as the next two scoring drives only took one play for Hunter Ogle to find an opening and rushed for 40 yards on each carry.
“The line they’ve been together going on three years now,” Rishard Davis said. “It all runs through them, I’m pretty sure Hunter will tell you that, Wyatt will tell you that. Even tonight, they were able to keep them off Wyatt so he could get a couple of throws down.”
The Dust Devils scored two more times before the half ended.
Wyatt Ogle found Avilez again for a 45-yard touchdown and then connected with Orlando Davis Jr. for 25 yards.
Robert Maldonado also had an interception for the Dust Devils.
“He’s just a little bit more experienced,” Rishard Davis said of Maldonado, who has come up with big plays for the Dust Devils in their first three games. “Last year he had a chance to play, I think we had one of the toughest schedules in 2A last year, and he was in those games. I think it’s just the game is starting to slow down for him.”
In the second half, Rishard Davis emptied his bench, but the scoring still didn’t stop. Sophomore Max Rodriguez came in for Wyatt Ogle and hit freshman Julian Armenta for a 25-yard score.
“I wanted to get the younger guys some reps,” Rishard Davis said. “We usually don’t have a JV game because most of the small schools don’t play JV. Anytime we get a running clock, I’m always trying to put the young guys in because they’re going to be our team one day. That’s always the plan, we don’t want to just keep our starters in, No. 1 I don’t want anybody getting hurt and number two if we’re ahead, we don’t want to embarrass the other team.”
Heritage Academy managed to score in the fourth quarter after an 18-play drive that ended with a 1-yard rush by Latrell Beck.
Despite only playing one half, Hunter Ogle rushed for more than 150 yards and scored five touchdowns.
Wyatt Ogle threw for more than 80 yards on 5-of-8 passing with three touchdowns. Avilez caught two of those touchdowns for nearly 55 yards.