Desert View linebacker Anton Jamero raced across the field waving the Desert View flag Friday night.
It didn’t matter that it was ugly. All that mattered was that for the fourth time since 1989, and third in the last four years, they had beaten their biggest rival Sunnyside, 20-6 at home.
At times Desert View looked like a team with tremendous potential, especially up front, rushing for a combined 227 yards on 38 carries. However, it also fumbled away two snaps while clinging to a two-touchdown lead for most of the game, and committed eight penalties, mostly false starts or offsides.
Still, there was no questioning the Jaguars’ resolve.
“It was kind of sloppy,” coach Robert Bonillas said. “We’ve got to improve on some things, make sure to fix the center-quarterback exchanges. But our conditioning and our work in the summer showed up there.”
Twice they turned away the Blue Devils on fourth down in the red zone, and when the visitors finally did score, off a 4-yard run by Martin Avizu with 9:47 left, Desert View answered with a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, punched in by sophomore tailback Carlos Alvarez.
He is just part of Desert View's bright future.
Sophomore running back Serge Gboweiah topped 100 yards in the first half alone, finishing with 174 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. Alvarez added two scores along with 56 yards on eight carries. The dominant rushing attack got it going early when Desert View marched 63 yards on 10 plays, including nine runs, to the end zone on the opening drive.
An incomplete pass on that first drive was Desert View’s only attempt of the first half. Quarterback Ryan Corral completed 2 of 4 for 38 yards after the break, but it was clear the Jaguars didn’t need much through the air.
“The line was doing great,” Gboweiah said. “I appreciate the holes they opened up for me. It’s a team effort. They made it a lot easier. I was able to get through there and do what I do to get extra yards.”
Desert View ratcheted up the pressure on Sunnyside freshman quarterback Deion Conde, who had more than a few snaps go over his head. He never got into rhythm, completing 10 of 24 for only 122 yards with an interception.
Sunnyside had plenty of its own miscues, accruing 88 yards on nine penalties, including a devastating holding at the 3-yard line which wiped out an Avizu touchdown. Sunnyside also fumbled at Desert View’s 3-yard line with 3:15 left in the third quarter and receiver Jose Acosta dropped a sure touchdown as he broke away from his defender on that same drive.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for the Blue Devils (0-2), who lost 41-26 last week at Gilbert Campo Verde to open the season. They’ll try to bounce back in their home opener against Rincon/University next week, while Desert View (1-0) marches on to host Nogales.
“It’s great,” Gboweiah said. “Coach Bonillas is always like, ‘Let’s beat the rival team. Let’s beat them.’ And today we accomplished that. Now our team knows what it can do, and we’re going to keep pushing.”