The Sand Devils football team returned to their home turf for the first time in a month hosting Holbrook, and the Roadrunners defense was simply not prepared to handle the Sand Devils fast-paced, agile offense. The Sand Devils posted 11 touchdowns, and an astounding 531 yards total offense. And what’s more, they needed surprisingly few plays to do it.
In the end, Page rolled to a 72-35 victory to improve to 3-2 on the season.
The Sand Devils defense also proved nearly impregnable, at least during the first half of the game. They thoroughly shut down Holbrook’s star running back, Zakhari Waits, who last year proved unstoppable. Much of Holbrook’s offensive troubles came from their own ineptitude and penalties. The majority of their first half possessions resulted in negative yardage, due mostly to illegal motion and holding penalties.
Head football Coach Mitchell Stephens went into last week’s game focus on shutting down Waits and the Holbrook running game. His team spent much of their time in practice getting efficient at tackling big running backs and collapsing running lanes. It worked. Waits had only 37 yards on 14 carries against the Sand Devils in Friday’s game. However, the Roadrunners switched quarterbacks at the end of the second quarter and began passing, to great effect, adding four touchdowns in the game’s second half. But it came too late.
Of the Sand Devils 11 offensive possessions they scored eight touchdowns on a just 12 plays. Their special teams — courtesy of Kele Meredith’s teleport-grade maneuverability — scored two touchdowns on kick-off returns, and their defense — coming from a Christian White interception — added another.
The game breakdown is quite impressive.
On Page’s first possession Doyle ran it in from his own 32, a 68-yard touchdown run.
On Holbrook’s first possession, White intercepted a pass and returned it all the way to the end zone for touchdown.
The Sand Devils offense faltered on their next three possessions turning it over on downs once, followed by Meredith and Hayden Gracia fumbles, both of which were recovered by the Roadrunners.
Following an interception by Jacob Doyle, Gracia was the first to redeem his earlier mistake, running it in from the Sand Devils 20 on their first play from scrimmage.
On the Sand Devils next possession, Meredith, after much weaving and dodging, ran it in for a 65-yard touchdown on the Sand Devils first play.
Meredith followed that with a 35-yard touchdown run, on a drive that required just three plays.
The Sand Devils special teams followed that with an onside kick, which they recovered, giving their offense field position from the Holbrook 46-yard line. Gracia ran it on their first play to make it 46-0.
Christian Penrod intercepted a Holbrook pass on the Roadrunners 20-yard line.
The Sand Devils scored on their first play with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Christian White.
On the Sand Devils next possession, Doyle ran it 80 yards for a touchdown. All of that occurred in the game’s first half.
Meredith started the second half off with a bang returning back to back kickoffs for touchdowns, the first one for 82 yards, the second for 99 yards.
On the Sand Devils’ next possession, Gracia ran in a 20-yard touchdown on their first play.
But the Sand Devils defense allowed five Holbrook touchdowns at the end of the game after they gave up on the run and found success with their passing game.
Meredith had 12 carries for 244 yards and six rushing touchdowns. He also had 182 yards returning kickoffs and two more touchdowns. Gracia had nine carries for 152 yards and three touchdowns. Jacob Doyle had eight carries for 127 yards and one touchdown. He had another passing touchdown to Christian White.
The Sand Devils travel to Monument Valley this Friday where they’ll battle the 4-1 Mustangs, and Coach Stephens is expecting a challenge. He also expects his team will be up for it.
“Monument Valley has been solid for the past few years,” he said. “We have a similar record and some common opponents so I’m expecting a battle. This is a rivalry game that I think our kids will get excited about.”
Kickoff is at 6 p.m.