Glendale Apollo senior Braxton Nickerson set the tone of the night for his team with an 80-yard touchdown on the opening kickoff.
From there, Apollo’s defense forced turnovers and its offense turned those into quick scores in a 56-20 win over host Laveen Betty Fairfax on Friday night in a Division II game.
“Hats off to our defense for getting stops when we had to,” Apollo coach Zack Threadgill said. “And our offensive line opened up holes to run the football.
“I’m please with where we’re at right now. We talk all year long about continual improvement and trying to get better every week and I think we took a step forward in that direction (Friday).”
Apollo quarterback Jordan Gungl threw for 247 yards and a season-high four touchdowns, two of them to Abe Mendivil. Running back Nico Bayless ran for 112 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown.
Apollo (8-1) won its fifth consecutive game and will likely stay in the top 8 of the Division II power rankings with the win. It entered Friday at No. 6.
Fairfax (7-2) needed the win after entering this week at No.14 in the power rankings and on the fringes of reaching the 16-team state playoffs.
Fairfax running back Brandon Sellers had a big night Friday, rushing for 208 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns. But Apollo’s offense couldn’t be contained.
Fairfax actually led 13-8 in the first quarter. But Apollo took the lead back and put the game away with seven touchdowns, including three quick touchdowns in the quarter, to Fairfax’s one the rest of the way.
Both teams have just one game left in the regular season. Apollo hosts Glendale Raymond S. Kellis (ranked 22nd). Fairfax visits 0-8 Glendale Independence, which is ranked 40th.