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Monsters Roll to 8-0

Another ranked opponent on the road? No problem. Eastern Arizona College stayed unbeaten with a 31-7 demolition of the No. 14 Mesa Thunderbirds on Saturday. The Gila Monsters (8-0, 5-0 WSFL) scored 24 unanswered points in the second half (all in the third quarter) to bury another top 20 team. The high-powered offense of the Thunder-birds was shut down by the Monsters’ defense. Mesa accumulated only 266 total yards, and its star quarterback, Dax Crum, completed just 10 of 30 passes for 141 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. Ryan Warren, Joel White-Frisbee, Brandon Smith, Kyle Brodbeck and Darric Parker continued their mastery on the offensive line. They mashed another opponent into the ground on the way to 322 rushing yards for the Monsters. EAC ranks first in the nation with an average of 321.1 rushing yards per game. With running back Milton Myers out for the season with a torn ACL, Chris Massey stepped in at fullback an carried the ball 18 times for 79 yards. Running back Mike Smith carried the ball only three times, but one of them was an 88-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter that put the Monsters up 31-7. Smith finished with 94 rushing yards. Darious Jackson added 33 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Mesa came into the game also boasting the leading receiver in the conference, Terrance Moore. Moore was held to just three catches for 53 yards and was held out of the end zone by the EAC secondary. Defensive backs Justin Edwards and Cedric Carter led the way with strong coverage. Carter picked off Crum for his fourth interception of the season. Eastern’s leading rusher, Pat Riley, was held in check with just 22 yards, but he was effective through the air, completing all four pass attempts for 110 yards and a touchdown.

EAC quarterback Stanford Leti got the Monsters ont the board in the first quarter with a 5-yard touchdown run. Mesa tied the game late in the second quarter on a 10-yard touchdown scamper by running back Ronald Young. Young had 85 yards rushing on 19 carries. Neither team took care of the ball well. Mesa lost two fumbles and threw an interception, and EAC lost three fumbles.

The win was Eastern’s third over a ranked opponent this season. The Monsters also beat No. 20 Scottsdale 28-7 on Sept. 22 and No. 7 Glendale 21-13 on Sept. 8. Eastern now prepares for an Oct. 27 homecoming game against Pima Com-munity College (1-8, 0-6 WSFL). The Monsters finish the regular season with tough road games at No. 1 Snow College on Nov. 3 (8-0, 5-0) and No. 18 Glendale (5-2, 4-1) on Nov. 10.

Story written by Brian Wright, Sports Editor

Eastern Arizona Courier