Monsters Dismantle Aztecs
Tucson, AZ --
Eastern Arizona College’s football team hasn’t had much of a test yet, but it also hasn’t played down to its level of competition. The Gila Monsters follwed a 36-7 season-opening win over a talented semipro New Mexico Crush team with a dominating 58-14 victory against conference foe Pima Comm-unity College on Saturday. Although the Aztecs were winless last season, EAC head coach John O’Mera said they are much improved. The evening started inauspiciously for the Aztecs, as Eastern‘s Marquise Enoch returned the opening kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown.
Pima showed little concern, however, on its first offensive possession. Quarterback Ryan Morgan went deep to receiver Malcolm Shepard for a 69-yard touchdown pass to tie the game 7-7. The Monsters stole the momentum back on their next possession, and quarterback Pat Riley burned the Aztecs’ defense for a 74-yard touchdown run. Running back Michael Smith added a 2-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter to give EAC a 21-7 lead. Tony Reid (7 yards) and Derrious Jackson (4 yards) tacked on touchdown runs for the Monsters before the break. Eastern’s defense decided to join the fun, and defensive back Cedric Carter recovered a fumble and ran 55 yards for a score to put the Monsters up 42-14 at the half.
Riley scored from 21 yards out in the third quarter, and Jackson scored his second touchdown of the night in the fourth quarter to give EAC a 56-14 lead. Pima’s center later snapped the ball through the goal post to give Eastern its final two points on a safety.
The Monsters gained 413 yards of total offense (331 rushing) and held Pima to 223 total yards. Riley had five carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns for EAC. The Monsters’ defense forced four turnovers (three interceptions and a fumble), and the offense only turned it over once.
Story written by Brian Wright
Sports Editor, Eastern Arizona Courier