The defense and offense for Phoenix Desert Vista (3-2) each used its first series to set the tone for the game in its 47-21 win over Vail Cienega (1-4) on Friday night.
After the defense forced Cienega’s offense to go three-and-out, quarterback Cade Van Raaphorst scored his first of three rushing touchdowns on a 54-yard run to get Desert Vista (3-2) on the board early and a lead it would not relinquish.
Van Raaphorst ran for 95 yards and threw for 110 with four total touchdowns and an interception.
“When you have a quarterback that can run like Cade, it will open others things up for you,” coach Dan Hinds said.
Desert Vista scored again on their next drive on a 42 yard run by TJ Roberts. They extended their lead to 21-0 when Saxon McDonald blocked a punt that Max Jenkins picked up for the score.
Cienega got back in the game quickly when Christian Poe took the ensuing kickoff 91 yards to the Desert Vista 2-yard line, which led to an eventual touchdown. Poe then picked off a Van Raaphorst pass and nearly returned it for a score. The team did score a touchdown a few plays later to make it 21-14.
Desert Vista added a late first half touchdown on a Van Raaphorst throw to Jason King to extend the lead to 27-14 at the half.
A long drive to begin the second half for Desert Vista was capped off by the second touchdown run for Van Raaphorst to take a 20-point lead.
Cienega struck back quickly when Poe, once again, took the ensuing kickoff 90-plus yards, this time he made it into the end zone as he single-handedly kept Cienega in the game.
“We need to shore some things up on our special teams, which is very fixable, and we can make,” Hinds said on Desert Vista’s special team’s mishaps.
After Cienega forced a three-and-out and had a chance to make it a one -core game, the Desert Vista defense took over. Oregon recruit Jalen Jelks recorded his second sack of the game that nearly resulted in a safety, which gave Cienega no chance to muster anything on the drive.
The offense got the ball back with good field position and scored a touchdown late in the third on a Van Raaphorst run to go up 40-21, which essentially ended the game.
The Desert Vista defense only gave up three first downs until the reserves came into the game in the final minutes. Besides the big returns by Cienega on defense and special teams, Desert Vista did not let Cienega cross midfield.
“Our boys really believe that they can stop anyone,” Hinds said. “We had a great game against Mission Hills (Calif.) and this was probably as good or a better game.”
Desert Vista will take on undefeated rival Phoenix Mountain Pointe at home next week as Cienega travels to Sierra Vista Buena.