Monsters Blow Out Matadors
Thatcher, AZ --
It has been 60 years since the Eastern Arizona College football team started a season 6-0. After a convincing 41-7 drubbing of Arizona Western on Saturday, the Gila Monsters matched the 60-year old record. The Monsters churned out 358 yards rushing en route to mashing the Matadors. Eastern’s offensive line has been consistently dominant this season and has paved the way for a bruising rushing attack (second in the nation at 330 yards per game). Darious Jackson gained just 13 yards on six carries, but he scored two touchdowns. He had a 1-yard score in the first quarter and another 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter. After several close games, the Monsters finally won a game comfortably. “It was important because we had a chance to play almost everybody,” EAC head coach John O’Mera said. “I think we got everybody in the game that was suited out, which is good for those kids that work so hard day in and day out.” Eastern defensive end Devlin Bayne also intercepted a pass in the first quarter and ran it back 14 yards for a touchdown. The Monsters led 21-0 at halftime, and quarterback Pat Riley’s touchdown run early in the third quarter made it a 28-0 game.
EAC had a 35-0 lead in the fourth quarter before Western quarterback Will Brogan tossed a 52-yard touchdown pass to receiver Ishmael Grant. Brandon Massey added a 33-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for Eastern’s final score of the night. The Monsters were banged up in their secondary, but the reserves were up to the challenge. “They did a great job,” O’Mera said. “The guys that played stepped up, and that’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re going to be a championship team.” Riley had another 100-yard rushing day, and he totaled 106 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown. Massey gained 49 yards on five carries and scored his first collegiate touchdown. The Monsters didn’t need to throw much, but Riley completed five of seven passes for 31 yards. Eastern’s defense turned in a suffocating performance by holding the Matadors to 24 yards rushing and 111 total yards. The Monsters harassed Brogan into completing just four of 14 passes for 87 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
There’s a long way to go, but EAC has a chance to do special things this year, which may include winning a national championship. “We still have a lot of football to play, but as long as you’re undefeated, you have a chance,” O’Mera said of winning a national title. “If we don’t get big-headed, and we stay together as a team, we have as good a chance as anybody.”
Editor’s note: Eastern linebacker Rico Brooks was the WSFL Co-Defensive Player of the Week last week against Scottsdale. He recorded 13 tackles, including four for a loss, in the Monsters’ 28-7 win.
Story written by Brian Wright, Sports Editor
Eastern Arizona Courier