By Frank Smith
With both teams coming in with identical records of 4 – 2 and all the festivities of the homecoming pageantry, the Miners knew they had to stay focused to the task at hand as they would have their hands full with the Globe Tigers that play in a bigger division and were sitting at a #11 state ranking in the respective division; the Miners stayed focused and pulled off the 21 – 10 win as the San Manuel defense took over holding the Tigers in check.
San Manuel took the opening drive from their own 23 marching down to the Globe 26 yard line in eight plays where a Miner pass was intercepted on a fourth down and six to go, the pass was intercepted and returned to the Miners 33 yard line.
Globe started out from their own 33 taking the ball down to the Miners 20 yard line in 15 plays, the Tigers were facing a fourth down and 10 yards for the first when the coach called for the kicking unit. The Tigers lined up for the field goal attempt, with kicker Diakita Sebastian splitting the uprights from 37 yards out for the three points, the Tigers led 3 – 0 with :10 showing in the first quarter. Globe drove 77 yards in 16 plays taking 8 :07 on the drive.
The Miners set up at their 25-yard line after the kick off, driving down to the Globe 25 yard line in nine plays and facing a fourth and one situation, fumbled the ball at the Tigers 25 yard line. Globe took over driving down to the San Manuel 45 yard line facing a fourth down and 15 to go, fumble the snap with nose guard Bryce Main applying pressure on the quarterback for a loss.
San Manuel lined up at the Tigers 44 yard line with wide receiver Andre Sierra taking the ball down to the five yard line on the reverse on the first play of the drive to set up running back John Ruiz with a one yard touchdown run on the fifth play of the drive, the extra point kick by Adrian Diaz was good for a 7–3 Miners lead with 1:32 on the clock. The Miners drive 56 yards in five plays taking 2:17 on the drive.
The Miners defense forced a three and out with the punt on the next possession for the Tigers, giving the ball back to the Miners to run out the clock, going into the half with the lead 7 – 3.
San Manuel set up at their own 47-yard line, throwing a pass on the first play of the drive that was intercepted by the Tigers and returned to the San Manuel 33 yard line.
The Tigers lined up at the Miners 33 yard line, fumbling the ball on the first play with linebacker Adrian Torres recovering the ball for San Manuel.
The Miners set up at their own 33 yard line, San Manuel would cash in on the miscue four plays later when full back Shane Kelly fought off several tackles on his way to a 55 yard touchdown run down the left side of the field to ‘Pay Dirt’, the extra point attempt was blocked for a 13 – 3 lead with 5:27 showing on the clock in the third quarter. The Miners drove 77 yards in four plays taking 2:10 on the drive.
Globe answered the call on the ensuing drive as the Tigers drove 55 yards in five plays capped off by a 10-yard touchdown run by running back Johnny Renteria, the extra point kick by Sebastian was good to cut into the Miners lead 10 – 13 with 3:28 left in the third quarter.
The defensive units locked in for the next several series as punts were forced and the Miners stopped the Tigers on a fourth down situation.
With 7:51 on the clock in the fourth quarter, Globe began to implore the ground and pound game – running strictly up the middle between the guards, the Tigers marched the ball from their own 20 down to the Miners 46 yard line in eight plays when Miner linebacker Anthony Garcia forced the fumble with a hard hit on running back Renteria, the ball was recovered by Torres.
This would set up another San Manuel score to put the game out of reach for the Tigers as the Miners drove 54 yards in seven plays capped off by a Kelly one yard blast into the end zone for the touchdown, the two point conversion was good by Ruiz for a 21 – 10 lead with 1:19 left in the fourth quarter.
Globe took a couple of sacks on the next drive as defensive end Jonathon Croci dropped the quarterback for a big loss to take the win for the 21 – 10 win.
Offensively, Shane Kelly had 12 carries for 123 yards with two touchdowns, and John Ruiz had 15 carries for 119 yards with one touchdown and a two-point conversion.
Defensively, Anthony Garcia led the team with 10 solo and three assisted tackles to go along with one forced fumble, Jonathan Croci had eight solo and four assisted tackles, Adrian Torres had seven solo and five assisted tackles to go along with two fumble recoveries, and Danny Quijada had four solo and three assisted tackles.
Head Coach Steve Elmore said, “The team bounced back after a bad loss last week. I am very proud of how everybody played, especially with all the distractions that come along with Homecoming.
There was a different mentality during practice this week, with everybody being focused on the game. The defense made a great stand at the end of the game by recovering a fumble with 3 minutes left.
The offense then took over the last three minutes with a long drive that took up time and ended in a touchdown.
Overall, it was a good Homecoming win for the team and for the fans that came out to show their support.”
The Miners will travel up to Tucson on Friday to take on Tanque Verde with kick off slated for 7 p.m.
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