By Frank Smith
The Miners made the trip into to Tucson on Friday night to take on the Tanque Verde Hawks – returning home with a 27 – 0 shutout, this was the Miners fifth shutout win of the season. With the win San Manuel moved to 6 – 2 overall and are sitting at number 12 in the Division V state rankings heading in to the final two games of the regular season with their sights on the playoffs.
In the first quarter, San Manuel started out with a fumble on their opening drive going three and out on a fourth down situation.
The Hawks took over on downs but punted the ball away pinning the Miners deep in their own territory at five yard line. San Manuel lined up at the five, handing off the ball to running back John Ruiz on the first play of the drive – Ruiz exploded 92 yards down field to the Hawks three yard line where Ruiz would punch it in three plays later for the one yard touchdown run. The extra point kick by Adrian Diaz was good for a 7 – 0 Miners lead with 6:56 in the first quarter. San Manuel drove 95 yards in four plays taking 1:26 on the drive.
On the next possession for the Hawks, the Miners defense held Tanque Verde on a fourth down and six to take over on downs.
San Manuel lined up at the Hawks 48 yard line, driving down to the Hawks two yard line with Ruiz picking up big runs to set up ‘lineman by trade’ Jordan Tovar for a two yard touchdown run on the seventh play of the drive. The extra point kick by Diaz was good for a 14 – 0 lead with 1:27 left in the first quarter. The Miners drove 48 yards in seven plays taking 2:12 on the drive.
The Miners were usually quite in the second quarter, unable to get another scoring drive taking a 14 – 0 lead into the half.
In the third quarter neither team could get a drive going, it was not until the fourth quarter when the Miners got back onto the scoreboard, San Manuel lined up at their own 36 yard line – marching the ball down to the three yard line in six plays with Ruiz capping off the drive on the seventh play of the drive with a three yard push into the end zone for the touchdown. The extra point kick by Diaz was good for a 21 – 0 score with 11:09 showing on the clock in the fourth quarter. The Miners drove 64 yards in seven plays taking 2:21 on the drive.
San Manuel would score once again, after the Miners defense shut down the Hawks to give the ball back to the Miners at their own 32 yard line.
The Miners running back tandem of Shane Kelly and Ruiz moved the ball to the Hawks 47 yard line where quarterback Adrian Torres unleashed a pass to wide receiver Andre Sierra down to the one yard line. The pass would set up defensive specialist Bryce Main for a one yard touchdown run. The extra point kick by Diaz was blocked for a 27 – 0 score with 3:34 left in the game. The Miners drove 68 yards in four plays taking 2:30 on the drive.
The Miners would hold on to the Hawks to take the win and the shutout 27 – 0.
Offensively, on the ground the Miners compiled 288 total yards with four touchdowns, John Ruiz had 17 carries for 236 yards with two touchdowns, Shane Kelly had six carries for 29 yards, Jordan Tovar had two carries for five yards with one touchdown, and Bryce Main had one carry for 1yard with one touchdown.
In the air, Adrian Torres went 3 for 9 for 86 yards, hauling in the passes were Andre Sierra had one reception for 43 yards, Jon Croci had one reception for 33 yards, and Shane Kelly had one reception for 10 yards.
Defensively, Danny Quijada had seven solo and six assisted tackles, Adrian Torres had four solo and three assisted tackles, Jonathan Croci had two solo and five assisted tackles with one sack, Anthony Garcia had one solo and six assisted tackles with one sack and one forced fumble, and Jordan Peasley had three solo and two assisted tackles with one sack.
Head Coach Steve Elmore said, “Nobody got hurt and we won the game, those are two important things. It wasn’t the best game we have played all year, but the guys came together and were able to get the victory. We will need a much better effort this week against Pusch Ridge if we want to keep our playoff hopes alive.”
The Miners will host the Pusch Ridge Lions on Friday night , the Lions post a record of 4 – 4with a ranking of number 20 and are coming off a win 32 – 0 win over Eloy, kick off is slated for 6 p.m.
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