One of the biggest questions entering the 2010 season for the Mingus Union High School football team was how effective its offensive line would be.
Looking at the ground game statistics over the last two weeks where Mingus opponents have held the Marauders to under 100 yards rushing in each game, one might think the answer has been provided.
Held to only 78 yards in the previous week in a 12-7 victory over Bradshaw Mountain High School, the Marauders managed only 51 total yards on the ground Friday, Sept. 24, in a 34-7 loss to Apache Junction High School.
The offensive line, however, cannot be the only scapegoat.
Without dynamic starting quarterback Nick Alred, who was lost for the season two weeks ago due to a serious leg injury, teams can now focus solely on the run game of Mingus and so far, the strategy has worked.
Mingus’ defense did not perform well Friday night either, giving up the most points  since September 2008 in a 42-35 loss to Washington High School.
Either way, it’s just one loss and there’s no need for Marauders fans or the team to worry, according to Mingus Head Coach Bob Young.
“We’ll continue to improve and get better. Apache Junction is a good football team and they played well.
We’ve got to make some adjustments and get ready for our next game this Friday night,” Young said.
Offensively, the Marauders ran 22 times, while passing the ball 21 times, a balance not frequently attained since the Mingus football team has primarily been a run-first, run-second and run-third type of program.
Quarterback Ronald Morones completed 14 of 21 passes for 196 yards Friday in the loss to Apache Junction.
Senior Kevin Webb led the Marauders with nine carries for 37 yards.
Apache Junction’s offense looked more like the Marauders of the past, running 47 times for 357 yards and four touchdowns against Mingus.
The Prospectors, who are 4-1 overall this season, are currently ranked No. 4 in the 4A-I conference according to the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point polls, which were released Monday, Sept. 27.
With the loss, Mingus drops to 3-1 [0-0, 4A-II Grand Canyon] overall on the season. The Marauders are ranked No. 7 in the AIA power point polls in the 4A-II.
Mingus will return home to Cottonwood and welcome Paradise Valley High School on Friday, Oct. 1.
Paradise Valley comes to town with a 1-3 overall record. The Trojans started the season 0-3 before getting a 34-30 victory Friday over Cactus Shadows High School.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.