Gophers Light Up Scoreboard in Delayed Season Opener

3 years ago Andrew Luberda 2

The second-ranked Florence football team finally played its first game of the season following last week’s cancellation versus Santa Rita.

The Gophers improved to 2 – 0 after a 61 – 35 victory against visiting Youngker on Friday night.

“The team was excited to get started after the disappointment of not playing last week,” Florence head coach Scott Howard said.

Florence receiver Shane Mathis dives across the goal line in the Gophers’ 61 – 35 victory.

Senior quarterback Jared Wood threw for 282 yards, completing 11-of-14 passes with five touchdowns. Senior running back Nolan Susel ran for 143 yards on nine carries, an average of nearly 16 yards per carry. He scored two of the Gophers’ three rushing touchdowns. Sophomore Joshua Maignan had the other.

Wood found senior Shane Mathis for two of his five scoring tosses. Susel, Maignan and junior Koby Cressy were each on the receiving end of Wood’s remaining touchdown throws.

Jared Wood stands in the shotgun during Friday’s game versus Youngker.

“Preparation for the week,” answered Wood when asked what allowed him and the team to be so successful offensively. “We had a good week of practice. The team was focused and ready to go.”

Shane Mathis, who had an interception in the win, Shelton Mathis and Jacob Scott each finished with 11 tackles to lead the Gophers’ defense, which played “solid,” according to Howard.

“I liked the overall team performance,” Howard said. “We have a lot of cleaning up to do, but I liked our execution on the offensive side of the ball.”

Up next:  Florence at Sahuarita on Sept. 1. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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