Knowing they had a good chance to win going in, the Pusch Ridge Christian Academy Lions football team played with total confidence Thursday night for the first time all year.
The result was a 55-0 win over winless Baboquivari High School. The victory was the first for the Lions this season, improving their record to 1-5.
“(Before tonight) we were dropping 5-6 passes a night. Tonight, I don’t remember any. Everybody had a good night catching the ball,” said Pusch Ridge coach Bob Vance.
Some might view the result with skepticism, since Baboquivari hasn’t won a game since 2008.
Last year, the Lions defeated the Warriors, 70-0. However, Vance said the achievement was not about the opponent.
“We executed very well,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming.”
The Lions took a quick lead when, with 10 minutes left in the first quarter, senior Alex Hook returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown. On the conversion attempt, quarterback Jacob Frithsen connected with receiver Grayson Barghols to make it 8-0.
The Lions scored three touchdowns in the first quarter to build a 22-0 lead.
On their first offensive possession, the Lions’ offense played as well as some of their higher-ranked competitors. Connor Reilly ran 14 yards on the first play. Frithsen completed a pass to Barghols, who proceeded to take it 32 yards to the Warriors’ 17-yard line.
Morgan Roters took a handoff and went 17 yards for the score. A pass to Mike Doty added another 2-point conversion for a 16-0 lead. Roters had one rushing attempt and one pass reception. Both players went for touchdowns.
It was a breakout game for
Frithsen. The sophomore, who is in his first season as a starting quarterback, completed 13 of 16 passes for 213 yards and four touchdowns.
In the first quarter, Barghols caught a 41-yard pass for a touchdown, to make the score 22-0. He finished with three catches for 76 yards, all in the first half, before he was given the rest of the night off.
“We’ve been working hard,” Barghols said. “Winning tonight shows that our hard work has paid off.”
There was plenty of credit to go around after the one-sided win. Reilly had 80 yards rushing on nine carries. Supplementing Barghols in the air, Chad Willis caught four balls for 39 yards, while senior Josh Brock had three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Brock’s score on a 30-yard reception came in the final two minutes of the first half, and made the halftime score, 42-0.
Willis and Aaron Borane each had interceptions for the Lions.
The Lions had season highs with 132 yards rushing and 345 yards of offense.
For a team that’s used to winning conference titles, the Lions’ 0-5 September caused players to reassess their goals midseason.
“After our last game, we decided October will be our month,” Barghols said.
Vance has a more tangible goal for the month.
“Our goal is to go undefeated in October,” Vance said.
This Friday is homecoming for the Lions, as they host Santa Cruz on Oct. 14. It will start at 6 p.m.
The Lions will close out their season later in the month, with games against San Manuel and Rio Rico.