Win streak ends for Pusch Ridge - Tucson Local Media: Sports

Win streak ends for Pusch Ridge

Playoff loss caps successful season

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Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 12:00 am

The season ended for the Pusch Ridge Christian Academy Lions on Friday night, when a cold wind blowing from the mountains sent a chill through the bundled crowd.

Unfortunately for the 7-3 Lions, the temperature did nothing to freeze the physical offensive attack of Camp Verde High School.

The Cowboys’ (6-5) bruising ground game chipped away at the Lions’ defense, eventually leading Camp Verde to a 23-13 victory in 2A playoff football and ending Pusch Ridge’s win streak at seven games.

The Cowboys finished the game with 428 total yards, boasting two 100-yard rushers and 274 on the ground.

“They just sort of started to wear us down,” said Pusch Ridge head coach Bob Vance.

According to Vance, the early loss of sophomore cornerback Tyler Goodwillie compromised the Lions’ ability to stop the run.

“If you look, they kept running where he would’ve been, and we missed him badly,” said Vance. “We knew Camp Verde was a big, strong team, they come to hit. We did too, but they just outhit us.”

Mistakes plagued the Lions, especially on special teams, including a long snap over senior punter Joey Degroff’s head that resulted in a safety for the Cowboys.

After the half, Pusch Ridge seemed ready to put the demons of the first two quarters to rest. The Lions roared out on a long touchdown drive headed by junior quarterback Greg Schimke and highlighted by an 18-yard completion to senior tight end Dawson Jones, a 17-yard run by senior running back Mike Baquet, and capped with a 5-yard touchdown run by junior running back Brent Overstreet.

After that drive, it was all Camp Verde. The Cowboys scored their safety and another touchdown to take a 23-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Another long pass to a wide open Jones would give Pusch Ridge a final score late, but a subsequent long drive by Camp Verde extinguished any hope of a comeback.

Despite the early playoff exit, first-year coach Vance was thankful for a team that made his initial foray into the top varsity spot a memorable one.

“It was just an awesome year,” said Vance with an emotional smile. There were “so many bright spots.”

Players were the story of the 2008 season, Vance said.

“We had new guys like (senior wide receiver) Daniel Vavrusa from the Czech Republic playing football for the first time, making touchdowns and contributing to the team, young guys coming up and doing so much,” said Vance. “Our old guys like (senior linebacker) Matt Baquet, playing his heart out all year long, and (senior offensive lineman) David Bergeron.”

As for 2009, Vance is excited about the prospects his Lions have in the wings.

“Goodwillie played with so much heart all year long as a sophomore, he’ll be ready next year,” said Vance. “We’ve got a bunch of young guys, a lot of juniors and sophomores coming up, we’re going to be tough again next year.”

Vance already has the 2009 postseason in mind.

“We’ll be back in the playoffs next year,” said Vance. “And we’re going to go farther.”

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HS Schedule


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Seton Catholic @ Marana (scrimmage)

Aug. 21

Hamilton @ Ironwood Ridge

Rio Rico @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Desert Edge

Aug. 28

CDO @ Gilbert

Mountain View @ La Joya Community

Pueblo @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Bisbee

Sep. 4

CDO @ Tucson High Magnet School

Westwood @ Ironwood Ridge

Horizon @ Mountain View

Marana @ Pueblo

Benson @ Pusch Ridge

Catalina Foothills @ Cienega

Sep. 11

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Mountain View @ Sunnyside

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McClintock @ Catalina Foothills

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Sep. 18

Cienega @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge @ Tucson High

Buena @ Mountain View

Marana @ Tempe

Catalina Foothills @ Rincon/University

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Sep. 25

Buena @ CDO

Sahuaro @ Ironwood Ridge

Mountain View at Cienega

Marana @ Catalina Foothills

Cholla @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 2

CDO @ Ironwood Ridge

Queen Creek @ Mountain View

Nogales @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Safford

Sahuarita @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 9

Poston Butte @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge @ Queen Creek

Shadow Ridge @ Mountain View

Marana @ Desert View

Nogales @ Catalina Foothills

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Oct 16

CDO @ Queen Creek

Ironwood Ridge @ Marcos de Niza

Mountain View @ Poston Butte

Rincon/University @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Sabino

Pueblo @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 23

Mountain View @ CDO

Poston Butte @ Ironwood Ridge

Marana @ Safford

Desert View @ Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 30

CDO @ Campo Verde 

Ironwood Ridge @ Mountain View

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