Updated: Nov 30, 2021
Deer Valley’s senior running back Ashton Hill ran for a career-high 159 yards and scored five touchdowns in Deer Valley’s 55-7 victory against Shadow Mountain at its home opener.
Hill was involved early in the passing and running game, breaking tackles and gashing the Matadors defense with multiple 20-yard gains. On the opening drive, Hill ran a one-yard touchdown to take a 7-0 lead.
“They weren’t going to stop Ashton,” Skyhawks coach Dan Friedman said. “If the box (was) light, (quarterback Rudy Gonzales was) going to hand the ball off to Ashton every time.”
Hill was a freight train in the second quarter. He rushed for 5-yard and 31-yard touchdowns and caught an 11-yard touchdown pass to help the Skyhawks increase their lead, 35-0, before halftime. He also caught six passes for 76 yards.
“Big ups to the offensive line,” Hill said. “Everything goes through the linemen at the end of the day. They do not get enough appreciation.”
The Skyhawks offensive line was stout, allowing no sacks and helping the offense gain 16 first downs and 250 total rushing yards. With a clean pocket, junior quarterback Rudy Gonzales, who threw a career-high seven touchdowns last week against Seton Catholic, was also efficient.
In the first quarter, he threw a 20-yard touchdown to senior wide receiver Jordan McGee, who led the team in receiving yards and touchdowns last week. McGee exited the game with an ankle injury in the second quarter.
“He’s day-to-day right now,” Friedman said. “Contusion on the calf.”
Gonzales scored on a 25-yard pass to Hill in the third quarter as well to take a 41-0 lead. Gonzales finished his night completing 13 of 16 passes for 159 yards. Deer Valley was able to put together quick scoring drives that overwhelmed Shadow Mountain. The Skyhawks scored on five drives that involved no more than five plays.
For the Matadors, possessions were cut short due to miscues. On their second possession, the Matadors had a promising 11-play drive end with a turnover on downs due to an intentional grounding and holding penalty, a receiver dropping a pass and a 6-yard sack.
Shadow Mountain was penalized nine times and fumbled twice. Sophomore quarterback Nico Alvarez was sacked four times and had two passes deflected.
“We can’t put the drives together because of mental mistakes,” Matadors coach Ron Fagen said. “We’re so young that we shoot ourselves in the foot.”
However, they showed no quit. On their final possession, the Matadors put together a nine-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped off by a 3-yard strike from Alvarez. He finished the night completing 18 of 29 for 170 yards.
“They kept their composure,” Fagen said. “We’re better than we’ve been playing. We just got to put it together on Friday night.”
The Matadors (0-2) will host the Vista Grande Spartans (1-1) at 7 p.m. Friday. Meanwhile, the Skyhawks (2-0) will play the Goldwater Bulldogs (0-2) at home at 7 p.m. Friday.
Derrian Carter is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in sports journalism, who is enrolled in MCO 502 – Journalism Skills at Arizona State University. Email Derrian at: email@example.com.