Koester, Defense Lead Queen Creek to Fifth Win
11 months ago Andrew Luberda 0
If Queen Creek’s defense was stingy the previous two weeks, then it was downright stifling – and opportunistic – during the second-ranked Bulldogs’ 38 – 0 win against Deer Valley last Friday night.
Junior defensive back Jett Koester returned an interception 33 yards for a pick-six, giving the Bulldogs a 14 – 0 lead with barely two minutes gone by in the opening quarter.
“I knew (from) watching film that (the receiver) was going to try to drag me deep so the other receiver would be open (underneath),” Koester said about the play. “I reacted to it, jumped the route, and took it to the house.”
Later, on a Skyhawks’ fourth-down play with less than a minute left in the first half, junior linebacker Armando Orona returned a fumble 89 yards to set up Dylan Borja’s second of three touchdowns in the game, extending Queen Creek’s lead to 31 – 0 as it headed to the locker room.
“We don’t really plan it,” Orona answered when asked if the defense is looking to score off turnovers. “It’s just situational football. I guess it went well tonight.”
Including Friday’s shutout, Queen Creek has allowed only nine points in its last three games.
“It’s getting better every week and that’s all we’re asking for,” Queen Creek head coach Travis Schureman said following the Bulldogs’ fifth win of the season. “I think we took a good step (against Deer Valley) on the defensive side and it was awesome to see.”
Queen Creek received the opening kickoff and three plays later held a 7 – 0 lead.
After a pair of rushes by Borja, junior quarterback Devin Larsen hit senior receiver Garrett Duke on a 44-yard touchdown pass and reception.
Larsen ended 12-of-21 for 175 yards and a touchdown. Duke hauled in six catches for 97 yards to lead all Queen Creek receivers.
Senior kicker Jacori Wooten, who was a perfect 5-for-5 on PAT’s, drilled a 30-yard field goal at the beginning of the second quarter to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 17 – 0.
Borja’s first touchdown of the game, which made it 24 – 0, was set up on a third-and-18 reception by Dante Coleman, his first-ever catch at any level.
The junior running back’s third touchdown was his best. It was a shifty 14-yard run, which ended the scoring for both teams.
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“I was just trying to get it in,” Borja said of his final touchdown. “(Deer Valley) was already (trailing), so one more touchdown and the game was basically over.”
Looking ahead, Queen Creek already has one big road win under its belt, but another won’t be any easier on Friday at undefeated and fifth-ranked Ironwood Ridge.
“It’s one more of the grind,” Schureman said. “We’re expecting a great game down there. We have a lot of respect for Coach Johnson and the job he does in Tucson. They’ve been beating up on teams, so it’s going to be a great challenge for us.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.