Desert Ridge overcomes injury to RB Husar, penalties to defeat Mesa

Desert Ridge overcomes injury to RB Husar, penalties to defeat Mesa

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Desert Ridge overcomes injury to RB Husar, penalties to defeat Mesa

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After watching another running back go down and only two games left before playoffs start, Mesa Desert Ridge is not only going to have to look deep in the huddle, but also on the depth chart.

Desert Ridge was able to overcome the injury of running back J.J. Husar on his second carry of the game and overcame 18 penalties to defeat Mesa 38-14 in a Division I game.

“We could have done a lot better,” said Desert Ridge quarterback Tarek Morrison, who finished the game with two rushing touchdowns. “We had a lot of penalties and losing J.J. was a big loss. It was hard and had to change up our offense a little bit, but we got back into it.”

After recovering the opening onside kickoff, Husar needed only one play to show why he is an important piece of Desert Ridge’s puzzle.

Husar broke to the outside and cut through the line and scored the game’s first points on a 35-yard run.

“With me and J.J. back there, it’s harder for teams to match up against us,” Morrison said. “I rolled out and all of the sudden I saw him on the ground and ran over there and my heart stopped. I didn’t even see it happen.”

Mesa (2-6) stayed with Desert Ridge for a short time and was able to answer Husar’s score when Eugene McIlhenny broke a 57-yard run to tie the game at 7-7 with 10:35 left in the first half.

Desert Ridge (7-1) — ranked No.1 in Division I in the power rankings — showed some resiliency and scored 31 unanswered points.

After Morrison scored on a 29-yard play, the Desert Ridge special teams got into the scoring action when they blocked a punt and Shay Real recovered it in the endzone for a 28-7 lead.

“I wasn’t even supposed to be between the tackles to recover the fumble,” Real said about the play. “We made a last-second switch and Marcus Winner blocked it and it was right there for the taking and I dove into the end zone. If I didn’t dive in, it wouldn’t have been a touchdown.”

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