San Manuel’s Velasquez crushes own record in win

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Christian Velasquez on his way to breaking a state record for rushing during a single game. Photo by A;puron Photography

  A week after setting a school record with 345 rushing yards, San Manuel running back Christian Velasquez shattered it and set a new state record in the process in the ninth-ranked Miners’ 78 – 13 victory against Tombstone last Friday.

  Velasquez, a senior, rushed for 514 on 16 carries and nine touchdowns, also believed to be a 2A state record.

  Numbers like those being put up by the Miners’ 5-foot-6, 185-pound Player of the Year candidate are normally only achieved in video games.

Micheal Mendibles blocks. Isabella Barragan | SMHS

  “Everyone has been executing their blocks and it’s paying off,” said Velasquez, crediting his offensive line for his success. “We’ve been working on that in practice.”

  “He’s is a man-child,” San Manuel head coach Dan Williams told the San Manuel Miner. “Defenders can’t arm tackle him, they can’t tackle him low, and they can’t try to tackle him high. He’s a beast.”

  The Miners held a 57 – 13 lead at halftime, causing a running clock in the second half, when San Manuel outscored Tombstone, 21 – 0.

  A running clock is the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s version of the mercy rule in football. The clock continues to run unless a team calls a timeout.

  The Miners’ defense was also impressive against the Yellow Jackets, the fourth opponent in six games to be held to 15 points or less.

  “We’ve been a lot more focused and aggressive this year,” said senior middle linebacker Gabe Velasquez, who had a game-high 18 tackles on Friday. “We’ve also had better communication, which has helped a lot.”

  One of the Miners’ season goals is to secure a playoff berth, and they know in order to achieve it they must remain focused on one game at a time.

  The next step on the journey is at Benson this Friday.

  “We just have to stay focused and stay disciplined,” said Christian Velasquez, who was named the Arizona Cardinals High School Player of the Week on Monday. “We’re looking forward to a chance at making the playoffs and then a state championship.”

  Kickoff on Friday is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Andy Luberda (1056 Posts)

Andrew Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working 15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for 11 high schools. His stories are published in Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun, in addition to the San Tan Valley Daily PRSS and CopperArea websites. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College before graduating with a BS in Communication from Arizona State University in 2014. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


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