Prep football roundup: Horizon outlasts Desert Mountain in offensive shootout

Horizon receiver Cameron Katz races to the edge during the Huskies’ 41–38 win over Desert Mountain Friday, Oct. 13. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Not only did Horizon High School come away with a win Friday, Oct. 13, but it walked away with a lesson as well.

This 41–38 home win over Desert Mountain High School (4–4) to move to 7–1 on the season was anything but easy. The Huskies found themselves down early and when they did get ahead, the Wolves kept coming back.

The adversity Horizon faced against Desert Mountain laid the foundation for what Horizon Head Coach Ty Wisdom said he took away from this game.

“Any event that happens in your life, your response determines the outcome,” he said after the Oct. 13 game. “You want to pout and feel sorry for yourself then you’re going to get your fanny beat. But if you respond with a good response then you’re going to like the outcome of it.”

Horizon quarterback Isaac Enriquez (3) tosses the ball during the Huskies’ 41–38 win over Desert Mountain Friday, Oct. 13. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Horizon dual-threat quarterback Isaac Enriquez made his presence known throughout the game as he accumulated three rushing touchdowns and a good chunk of the team’s rushing yards.

As a whole, the Huskies found success in the running game as the majority of their yardage came from runs. Receiver Cameron Katz as well as running backs Nash Giffen and Shane Andrews all contributed.

Despite a solid finish, Enriquez’ night started off slow as he fumbled on the Horizon 38-yard line during the Huskies’ first drive. The Wolves took advantage with running back Nick Hill rushing in a 23-yard touchdown.

Desert Mountain furthered its lead on its next drive with a trick play that resulted in a 70-yard pass from quarterback Kedon Slovis to receiver Armand Reichelt to put the Wolves up 14–0.

Enriquez said while the turnover was unfortunate, he did not let it phase him.

“It’s the beginning of the game, you just have to stay calm,” Enriquez said after the Oct. 13 game. “You just let it go, especially the quarterback position. You just have to flush things through your mind and keep on going.”

Enriquez rebounded by capping off an eight-play drive with a 25-yard run into the end zone midway through the first quarter.

Desert Mountain running back Nick Hill outruns a pair of Horizon defenders during the Huskies’ 41–38 win over Desert Mountain Friday, Oct. 13. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

On the next series, Horizon free safety Chris Grillo intercepted Slovis’ pass and returned it for the score with about two minutes left in the first to tie it up at 14.

The Wolves didn’t stay down long as Slovis found receiver Josh Walker on an 80-yard pass for a touchdown to go up 21–14 late in the first.

Horizon added in two more touchdowns in the second quarter, both short runs by Enriquez, giving him his three touchdowns in the first half and helping lead the Huskies to a 31–21 halftime lead.

Coach Wisdom said Enriquez is growing each game, especially because this is his first year with significant varsity experience, and that growth helped Enriquez not get rattled after the early turnover.

“He came off and was like ‘I fumbled, big deal,’” he said. “He comes back and he responds and has a great first half.”

Desert Mountain wasn’t done. The Wolves added in a 22-yard field midway through the third and a short touchdown run from Hill early in the fourth to tie the contest at 31.

Horizon’s response came from Katz running in a 70-yard score to give the Huskies the 38–31 advantage with 9:24 left to play.

A Horizon defender tackles Desert Mountain running back Nick Hill during the Huskies’ 41–38 win over Desert Mountain Friday, Oct. 13. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

After a short Desert Mountain drive, kicker Cole Johnson padded the Huskies’ with a 47-yard field goal with less than two minutes to play. This was Johnson’s second field goal of the night with the other coming in the second quarter.

Johnson said he did not feel pressured and 47 yards was well within his range.

“I just knew if I made that kick, it would give my team the best opportunity to win,” he said.

The Wolves got in one more score with Slovis finishing a nine-play, 80-yard drive with a short pass to Walker pull the game within three with about nine seconds to go but didn’t get any closer.

Slovis ended the game with 422 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, two of which went to Walker, and two interceptions. Walker posted 176 receiving yards and Hill had 87 rushing yards, according to maxpreps.com.

Despite the loss, Desert Mountain Head Coach Dave Sedmak said he was proud of his team’s resilience and energy.

“This was the most focused and hungry they’ve been and I hope we can keep it going,” he said after the Oct. 13 game. “If we can keep it going, then the season’s going to end strong.”

Desert Mountain looks to rebound against Sandra Day O’Connor High School next Friday while Horizon will host Boulder Creek High School.

Desert Mountain quarterback Kedon Slovis attempts a pass in the face of the Horizon defense during the Huskies’ 41–38 win over Desert Mountain Friday, Oct. 13. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez).

Around the horn

Byes: Saguaro and Arcadia

Chaparral 54, Paradise Valley 27 — Chaparral (4–4, 1–1 Northeast Valley) ended a two-game losing slide and picked up its first region win of the season with the home victory over Paradise Valley (3–6, 1–2 Northeast Valley). The Firebirds bounced back from a 63–13 loss to Liberty to post their highest point total of the season.

Combs 48, Coronado 7 — Midway through the first quarter, Coronado (1–7, 1–2 Black Canyon) cornerback Zach Lewis returned an interception 70 yards to tie the game at 7. From that point on, it was all Combs (3–5, 2–1 Black Canyon) as it rattled off 41 unanswered points en route to a rout in San Tan Valley.

Notre Dame Prep 37, North Canyon 14 — Notre Dame Prep (8–0, 3–0 Northeast Valley) posted 28 points in the first quarter and never looked back in its home victory. North Canyon (4–4, 1–1 Northeast Valley) scored all its points in the fourth quarter.

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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