Willcox refuses to take their easy mid-season schedule lightly and Tanque Verde felt the brunt of the Cowboys focused attack Friday night.
The 55-13 victory is the second consecutive scoring night over 50 points for the Cowboy varsity with another opportunity coming at hapless San Carlos (0-5) this Friday.
“We’re taking it one game at a time, not falling into any traps,” said Head Coach Joe Garcia. Willcox (4-1) is coming off an unexpectedly one-sided 55-0 win over Tombstone (3-2) and a showdown looms soon with Thatcher (4-1), so Garcia is cautious about taking anyone lightly.
“We have to keep our focus on this one at San Carlos,” he said. “It’s a long trip and our JV lost there last year.”
Willcox was never in danger of losing at Tanque Verde (0-5) as Damon Dunlap returned the game’s first punt 25-yards for good field position at the TV 40-yard line. One-play later, quarterback Travis Regalado connected with Dunlap as a wide receiver to make it 6-0 after one play from scrimmage. Regalado converted the first of six successful extra point kicks to make it 7-0.
Tanque Verde soon punted again, with Dunlap unstoppable this time on a 67-yard return for a score that made it 13-0 in the first quarter.
On the next drive tailback Tanner Hogue muffed a pitch-out but recovered in time to race 35-yards up field to score, and, as expected, the rout was on.
Dunlap returned another punt 62-yards to set up fullback Ben Miller’s one-yard scoring plunge early in the second quarter, while tailback Greg Villarreal added a 60-yard touchdown gallop and Regalado a 38-yard scoring strike to Dunlap to make it 41-0 before the half.
“Damon had a great game and came alive for us with three touchdowns,” said Garcia. He also finished with 232 all-purpose yards.
The host team did squeeze in a touchdown just before the half ended, and again late in the fourth quarter just before the game ended.
In between, Miller added an 8-yard touchdown run and starting lineman Isaac Samudio got in on the action with an 8-yard scoring run for the final 55-13 victory margin.
“I like where we are now,” said the coach. “We’re getting better every week, getting off the ball quickly and making better tackles.”
RJ Valdez led the defense with 7 tackles, while Miller had 5, including a sack, and Hogue blocked two punts.
Villarreal led the rushing attack with 94 yards while Hogue added 50. Regalado finished 4-6 with 106 yards passing.
Willcox hopes to stay healthy by the time they conclude this three-game road swing at Thatcher on Oct. 5, but Garcia will take San Carlos seriously this weekend and use his starters in full force early.
“San Carlos is inexperienced. Very few of their players have played a whole lot of football, so we have to take advantage of that.”