Dominique Drake gives jolt to Sierra Vista Buena football team

Dominique Drake gives jolt to Sierra Vista Buena football team

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Dominique Drake gives jolt to Sierra Vista Buena football team

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Coach Ryan Scherling arrived in Sierra Vista in April, greeting a lot of young Buena football players.

But what looked like a rebuilding job for the 27-year-old, inheriting a team that won three games the previous season, became a playoff contender two weeks before camp began when a gift from Heaven, or Maryland, arrived.

Junior running back Dominique Drake moved in, immediately giving the program an electric jolt with his elusive moves and power. Drake has rushed for 1,346 yards and 20 touchdowns, and Buena (5-2) is looking to make the Division I state playoffs for the first time since 1993.

“I guess it kind of is a blessing,” Scherling said. “But everyone around him has gotten better each week, and we have a young, talented squad.”

Only the center is a senior. The rest of the starting offensive players are underclassmen. Scherling starts five seniors on defense.

Buena, at No. 13 in the MaxPreps-powered playoff seedings, finishes against 0-7 Tucson Cholla, 2-5 Tucson Desert View and 5-2 Tucson Sunnyside. Buena can clinch its first winning season since 2006 with one more win.

Drake was held under 100 yards once this season, to Phoenix Mountain Pointe (6-1), which limited him to 72 yards in 23 carries.

He bounced back the next week with 242 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries in a 45-42 win over Tucson.

“He’s the real deal,” Tucson coach Justin Argraves said. “He’s powerful and durable. I was very impressed with his style of play when we played them.”

Last week, in a 47-33 win over Mesa Westwood, Drake had 194 yards and six touchdowns in 27 carries.

“He is a hard runner that refused to go down,” Westwood coach Spencer Stowers said. “With his ability and attitude, he will continue to be a leader for Buena and a top back.”

Freshman initiation

With diminished depth at quarterback because of an injury to starter Trevor Miller, Anthem Boulder Creek coach Dan Friedman brought up a freshman to split repititions at quarterback with senior Isaiah Huston in last week’s 31-7 win at Phoenix North Canyon. Friedman praised the job Gunther Johnson did, taking 40 snaps. Johnson had a rushing touchdown and “managed the game real well,” Friedman said.

Huston, a good athlete, started his high school career as a quarterback, but he has been a receiver/cornerback the last two seasons.

Cardinals honors

Buckeye’s Jabril Taylor was named High School Player of the Week and Gilbert Highland’s Pete Wahlheim Coach of the Week by the Arizona Cardinals after last week’s efforts.

Taylor ran for a school-record 388 yards on 23 carries and four touchdowns. He had 410 total yards in Buckeye’s 35-14 victory over Buckeye Verrado.

Wahlheim’s Highland team beat Scottsdale Desert Mountain (34-31), the last unbeaten team left in Division I, and entered azcentral sports’ top 10 for the first time this season.

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