By Greg Perkins
With a 52-6 home field win over Ash Fork last Friday night, Joseph City balanced its overall season mark at 3-3. Just two games are left in the regular season for Division VI teams and the Wildcats have moved themselves into a position where they could advance to the state playoffs even after a slow start.
The Wildcats made quick work of the Spartans with four first period touchdowns. Cody Davis returned the opening kickoff 82 yards and just 21 seconds into the contest the Cats held an 8-0 lead following the two-point conversion run by Wyatt Johnson.
Ash Fork’s first possession also turned into Wildcat points when Landon Baldwin scooped up a Spartan fumble and returned it 39 yards for the first of two defensive scores of the night. Johnson connected with Daniel Hutchens for the two-point conversion and before Joseph City’s offense took the field, the Cats held a 16-0 edge.
Once the offense got the ball they quickly picked up their own score on a 42-yard scoring toss from Johnson to Davis with 8:46 left in the opening stanza. Johnson found Baldwin for two more points, pushing the lead to 24-0. With only nine seconds left in the first Davis scored his third touchdown of the night on a 30-yard run and the Wildcats held a commanding 30-0 lead at the close of the quarter.
Early in the second period Davis again scored, this time from 52 yards out, moving the margin to 36-0. Davis then scored his fifth touchdown of the game on the defensive side of the ball when he picked off a Spartan pass attempt and returned it to make the lead 44-0 after the conversion run by Johnson. With 4:23 left in the half Chance Bray scored Joseph City’s final points of the game on a 41-yard scamper. His two-point conversion run gave the Wildcats a 52-0 lead.
Ash Fork avoided the shut out with a 10-yard scoring run in the fourth period, making the final 52-6.
With the defense and special teams scoring three times, Joseph City’s offense racked up only 225 total yards and ran 30 fewer plays than did Ash Fork.
Johnson completed both of his pass attempts for a total of 48 yards and one score. Jeremiah Perry was one for one and Hutchens missed his target on his only attempt.
Davis had one catch for 42 yards, Bray had one for six yards and Forester Flake caught one ball, but lost nine yards.
On the ground, Davis piled up 118 yards on just three runs, two of which went for touchdowns. Bray rushed for 44 yards on three carries. Johnson gained 17 yards on five totes. Troy Poudrier rushed twice for seven yards.
Poudrier led the defense with eight tackles, including seven solo takedowns. TJ Hendricks had five, while Bray and Kaden Westover were each credited with four stops.
This week the Wildcats welcome the Glendale Prep Academy squad, which will be making a long trip up from the Valley. The Griffins come into this game with an overall mark of 4-2.
By Greg Perkins