Desert Ridge defense leads rout of Skyline

Desert Ridge defense leads rout of Skyline

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Desert Ridge defense leads rout of Skyline

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As two big games loom for Mesa Desert Ridge in the next couple of weeks, it was the right time for the defense to give the offense a chance to rest.

Nathaniel Rodriquez returned two fumbles for touchdowns as Desert Ridge routed Mesa Skyline 56-13 in a Division I game Friday night, and the defense as a whole forced six turnovers.

“It was a sweep and they pitched the ball,” said Rodriquez, whose first fumble recovery was for 83 yards, to put Desert Ridge up 28-0 in the second quarter.

“I saw Charlie (Murphy) pop out the ball and my first thought was to scoop and score. I picked it up and just ran.”

Rodriquez, who had two fumble returns last year, picked up his second of the game four plays later when Skyline’s George Castillo fumbled at the 24-yard line going for it on fourth-and-one.

“They ran a stretch and the defensive end popped it out and it was right there for me,” said Rodriquez about his second return.

Desert Ridge’s (4-1) offense had several plays of their own in the game, as J.J. Husar and Tarek Morrison connected on a touchdown pass of 50 yards that put them up 49-0 in the third quarter.

“The offensive line came out a little slow tonight,” said Husar, who also added a 24-yard rushing touchdown. “We picked it up though and there were some big holes. I have to give everything to them because of good reads by them.”

Despite six turnovers (five fumbles lost, one interception), Skyline (3-2) was able to get some movement on the field and broke the shutout bid when Francisco Avitia broke a 73-yard run with 11:04 left in the third quarter.

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