The Marauders football team got back to their winning ways Friday, Oct. 1, defeating visiting Paradise Valley High School handily, 42-0.
October has been good to the Mingus Union High School football team in recent years.
Since 2004, the Marauders are 24-4 during October and are currently on a 22-game winning streak after the 42-0 win over Paradise Valley on Friday.
Mingus is 19-0 since the 2006 season and was 3-1 in October 2005 with its only loss coming to rival Flagstaff High School in the first game of the month, 18-6.
On Friday, senior safety Juan Gonzalez got the ball rolling in the first quarter, returning an interception for a touchdown to give Mingus a big boost of confidence.
“It was a big play. We gained so much confidence after he scored. After a tough loss the week before, our boys needed something and Juan [Gonzalez] gave it to us,” Mingus Head Coach Bob Young said.
Like Young said, the Marauders needed it badly after having their lunch handed to them against Apache Junction High School the week before, 34-7.
After a Logan Couch punt, which pinned the Trojans down inside their own 15-yard line, Gonzalez tipped a pass to himself on Paradise Valley’s first play from scrimmage and ran it 15 yards into the end zone for a touchdown, putting the Marauders up 6-0.
The quick score deflated any hope of victory by the Trojans who struggled offensively the rest of the way.
Offensively, Mingus got back to what it does best — run the ball. Against the Trojans, Marauders runners carried the ball 44 times for 303 yards and four touchdowns.
Kevin Webb led all running backs with 16 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown. Gonzalez was next in line with 10 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Marauders held the Paradise Valley offense to 256 total yards, but more importantly, shut them out on the scoreboard.
“I think our defensive players were a little upset. Giving up as many points as they did the week before isn’t like them, and they couldn’t wait to get back on the field and make it right,” Young said.
With the victory, Mingus improves to 4-1 [0-0, 4A-II Grand Canyon] overall this season and is ranked No. 7 in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point polls, which were released Monday, Oct. 4.
Next up, Mingus is set to host Page High School in the 4A-II Grand Canyon region opener Friday, Oct. 8.
Friday night’s game could be a region championship preview with Page holding a 4-1 overall record this season and a No. 15 ranking in the power point standings.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.