Desert Edge nears perfection in win over Buckeye

Desert Edge nears perfection in win over Buckeye


Desert Edge nears perfection in win over Buckeye


Led by the aerial attack of Sawyer Lung and Elijah Marks, Goodyear Desert Edge topped Buckeye 21-7.

With the win, Desert Edge (9-0) is one game away from completing the regular season undefeated.

“It wasn’t the prettiest win,” Desert Edge coach Rich Wellbrock said. “But (Buckeye) is a well coached, good football team and they came out and hit us.”

Desert Edge did not wait long to hit the Hawks right back. After Buckeye shanked a punt to give Desert Edge good field position, the offense went to work. Senior running back Kyle Woolard ran for 25 yards on the first snap and senior quarterback Sawyer Lung hit Elijah Marks on a quick screen which was taken 39 yards for the score.

Marks, a junior wideout listed at just over 6 feet tall, finished the game with eight receptions for 177 yards and two touchdowns.

“He’s a great football player, and he makes big plays,” Buckeye coach Bobby Barnes said.

Said Wellbrock: “At some point some of these colleges are going to figure out he’s special. He makes plays that I have not seen made.”

Buckeye answered back with a big play of their own. Facing a third-and-13, senior Valente Lopez took the handoff but threw downfield to open Dylan Collazo in the end zone. The pass totaled 44 yards and brought Buckeye even with Desert Edge.

After forcing the Scorpions to turn the ball over on downs, Buckeye suffered a costly turnover fumbling the ball away and giving Desert Edge possession on Buckeye’s 25. Lung then found Marks in the end zone for their second touchdown of the day.

Buckeye relied on its running game all night, with senior tailback Jabril Taylor accounting for 87 yards on 27 attempts and junior fullback Cutter Hart adding six rushes for 25 yards. Buckeye failed to finish any other drives by putting points on the board though.

Desert Edge ended the scoring with a long drive in the third quarter that ended with junior back Jordan Jackson catching a touchdown pass from Lung to put it up 21-7.

Though Buckeye (6-3) could not manage a win, Barnes said he felt his team showed that it could hang with anyone, as it held Desert Edge’s offense to more than 30 points fewer than its average coming into the game.

Senior linebacker Brandon Grabowski led Buckeye on defense, with an aware pick of Lung in the red zone early in the third quarter and making tackles all over the field.

“He stepped up tonight,” Barnes said. “He’s a senior leader, and you’re going to see big things from him the rest of the way.”

Buckeye will need Grabowski and the rest of the team to play well next week as its rivalry matchup with Buckeye Youngker will determine if it get into the playoffs.

Despite Desert Edge closing in on a top seed in the playoffs, Wellbrock feels like his team still has work to do.

“Next week we got to get better,” Wellbrock said. “We were sloppy tonight, and that’s on me. We’ll get that taken care of next week.”

More USA TODAY High School Sports