Gilded flight outpaced an Angel’s wings on Friday night, as the visiting Desert Hot Springs Golden Eagles won their De Anza League opener in a 41-21 victory over host Desert Mirage.
Amassing 437 yards of total offense, upstart Desert Hot Springs won on the road for the first time in nearly two years, already surpassed its three-win total from last season and is just one victory away from matching its cumulative win total of the past two years.
“This group has really come together as a team and it’s not about ‘Me’ anymore, it’s about ‘Us,’ ” said Golden Eagles’ head coach Will Littell. “Kids don’t care if they don’t score a touchdown. They want to win football games and that’s our attitude.”
Per the scores, it would seem a host of Golden Eagles actually did consider TDs on the night, as five different players found the end zone for the victors.
“This week I got to working with my O-line. We got back to basics and I think it showed tonight,” said Littell of the offensive outburst.
Taking a 21-14 lead to half, Desert Hot Springs outlasted a superb showing from Desert Mirage senior running back Jesus Angel, who churned out 196 yards on the night.
In victory, an emotive Littell indicated the Golden Eagles’ hot start is evidence of more than just a sizzling September.
“To get a home playoff game for the first time in school history — that’s what our goal is,” he said.
Desert Hot Springs was led on the ground by a 106-yard night from Markese Denman, while senior quarterback Andrew Moreno authored a solid 9-for-14 line for 193 yards and a pair of touchdown tosses. Moreno also closed out the scoring with a 3-yard TD run in the game’s waning minutes.
Star of the Game
Jahi Martindale: The senior wideout was Moreno’s top target on the night, catching four balls for 142 yards and two touchdowns. With Desert Hot Springs leading 28-21 entering the fourth, Martindale’s 63-yard TD to open the final quarter took the air out of the Homecoming stadium
Jesus Angel: This dude is a beast. Entering the night with 556 rushing yards on the night, Angel’s combination of speed and power saw him burst for scoring runs of 57 and 80 yards, respectively.
“The De Anza is tough, top to bottom, Littell said of the schedule ahead. “Desert Mirage is no pushover, Rancho Mirage is doing something amazing, Shadow Hills is always tough. I mean, there’s not one weak team in our league, and the our conference deserves the respect that the De Anza doesn’t get.”
Desert Hot Springs (4-1, 1-0 De Anza) remains on the road for the second of four consecutive away games with a trip to Yucca Valley next Friday at 7 p.m, while Desert Mirage (3-2, 0-1 De Anza) takes to the road with a conference battle vs. Shadow Hills.
DESERT HOT SPRINGS 41, DESERT MIRAGE 21
(DM) Froilan Rodriguez 26 pass from Alejandro Ortiz (Daniel Gutierrez kick)
(DHS) Jahi Martindale 48 pass from Andrew Moreno (Andrew Martinez kick)
(DHS) Miguel Rubio 25 run (Andrew Martinez kick)
(DM) Jesus Angel 57 run (Daniel Gutierrez kick)
(DHS) Markese Denmon 33 run (Andrew Martinez kick)
(DHS) Solomon Patrick 5 run (Andrew Martinez kick)
(DM) Jesus Angel 80 run (Daniel Gutierrez kick)
(DHS) Jahi Martindale 63 pass from Andrew Moreno (Andrew Martinez kick)
(DHS) Andrew Moreno 3 run (Kick failed)
RUSHING (Carries-Yds) — DHS: Markese Denmen 11-106, Solomon Patrick 10-69, Miguel Rubio 5-35 2-4, Daniel Casares 3-34, Miguel Gutierrez 1-16, Andrew Moreno 4-3. DM: Jesus Angel 15-196, Melvin Harmon 9-37, Jesus Ortiz 6-34, Francisco Ponce 3-19, Alejandro Ortiz 3-5, Nick Gil 1-3.
PASSING (Comp.-Att- INT—TD- Yds) — DHS: Andrew Moreno 9-14-1-2-193. DM: Alejandro Ortiz 1-3-0-1-26, Adrian Guzman 0-2-0-0-0.
RECEIVING (Rec.-Yds) —DHS: Jahi Martindale 4-142, Rashah Freeman 3-35, Alex Moreno 2-16. DM: Froilan Rodriguez 1-26.