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North Canyon Dominates Shadow Mountain in Matadors' Season Opener

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

The Shadow Mountain Matadors opened their season the same way last year ended with a blowout defeat against the North Canyon Rattlers.

The Rattlers used a ferocious rushing attack and stout defense to post a 58-6 victory at the Matadors’ home opener.

After losing 44-30 to Paradise Valley last week, a game where North Canyon was scoreless in the second half after leading 30-14 at halftime, the Rattlers sought redemption.

“We were kind of in that same situation this week,” Rattlers coach Adam Beene said. “But this week, we were able to keep the hammer down and finish the game.”

The Rattlers kept their foot on the gas all game led by their dynamic running back duo, seniors Izzy Durgin and Brock Biley. Despite an early fumble by Biley, he made up for it with 30-yard and 11-yard rushing touchdowns on the next two drives as the Rattlers built a 16-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. the end of the first quarter. Biley finished the night with 186 yards on 15 carries.

Durgin joined in on the action by rushing for a 16-yard touchdown, catching a strike from senior quarterback Amari Harris for a 61-yard touchdown and powering through defenders for an 11-yard touchdown to help the Rattlers take a halftime lead. Durgin finished the game with 189 scrimmage yards.

When the Matadors started adjusting to stop the run, the Rattlers brought out their aerial arsenal.

“We saw they were running (3–4 defense),” Harris said. “Once they came up, that’s when we started throwing.”

Harris connected with senior wide receiver Tylen Wilfong on a deep ball for a 60-yard touchdown, minutes before halftime to take a 44-6 lead. Harris joined in on the rushing effort as well with a 1-yard score. He completed 4 of 7 passes for 136 yards before being pulled in the third quarter.

For the Matadors, their woes from last season revealed themselves again. These two teams met on Nov. 20 when the Rattlers blew out the Matadors 38-7. The Rattlers rushed for over 200 yards, forced three turnovers and sacked the quarterback five times. This matchup was similar.

“We got exposed with (our) youth, and (we’re) not (playing) fundamental football right now,” Matadors coach Ron Fagen said.

The Matadors struggled to get any offense going. Sophomore quarterback Nico Alvarez was pressured from the start, getting sacked seven times and throwing multiple passes that were nearly intercepted. Alvarez’s night ended completing 10 of 26 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. The Matadors’ rushing attack was also bottled up, only rushing for four total yards.

Throughout the night, Shadow Mountain lacked discipline. These miscues caused the Matadors to be penalized seven times and gave an extra edge to a team that was focused from the opening kickoff.

“We had a lot of mental mistakes,” Fagen said. “Just more practice, and as the season goes along, as long as we stay healthy, we’ll get better.”

The Matadors (0-1) will play at Deer Valley (1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday. Meanwhile, the Rattlers (1-1) will host the Lee Williams Volunteers (1-1) 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:

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