Senior Gains 215 yards, 4 TD’s as Prospectors Stop Rams
By Daniel Dullum
The story of Samson and Delilah mattered little to previously shaggy Apache Junction running back William Lohman. He was determined to get a new quaff for homecoming week.
“It’s a lot cleaner, and I was looking like a rag, so that’s when I decided to cut it!” the senior explained after running for 215 yards and four touchdowns in the Prospectors’ 41-14 Black Canyon Region victory over Phoenix Washington on Sept. 28 at Davis Field.
“This is one of my best nights I’ve had so far,” Lohman said, adding that it being a region game added to its importance. “This is pretty big. We thought we would just take it easy in the first half, and the coaches picked it up a little bit. From there, we just went on.”
AJHS (3-3 overall, 1-0 region) jumped to a 9-0 lead on Lohman’s first touchdown, a 3-yard run at 8:26 of the first quarter and a safety when Rams punter Donovan Meeks fielded a bad snap and wound up running with the ball over the end line.
Washington (2-4, 0-1) surged ahead 14-9 in the second quarter. Dac dae Zachery – who replaced starter Phillip Pardia at quarterback – scored on a 1-yard run, and Travion Hughes rambled 70 yards four minutes later to put the Rams ahead.
The Prospectors regained the lead for good on Lohman’s 25-yard TD run with 2:57 left in the half.
Though AJHS led 15-14 at halftime, Prospectors Coach Vance Miller was less than pleased and let the troops know.
“A lot of it was tone,” Miller said. “I’m a very even-tempered coach and they know if I lose my cool, I mean business and they listen. They could have gone either way with that, but they responded well.”
The Prospectors outscored Washington 26-0 in the second half. Lohman scored on touchdown runs of 6 and 5 yards, and junior transfer Ethan Labrue added a pair of touchdowns in the second half – one on a 15-yard pass from Gibson Limongello in the third quarter, and the other on a 12-yard run with 6:44 remaining in the game.
In between, Zach Langenbach blocked a 35-yard field goal attempt by Meeks late in the third quarter.
“Ethan has been chomping at the bit for five weeks and finally became eligible,” Miller said. “He’s a huge part of our offense. We have a whole offensive package with two-back stuff that we haven’t used much all year. He’s a 230-pound fullback and his presence is huge for us to open up some holes.”
Pardia left three plays into the game, something Rams Coach Tim Mayfield saw as a key to the game.
“Our quarterback goes out early and that hurts us,” Mayfield said. “We’re not big enough, we don’t have a lot of depth. So when he goes down, our offense became really limited.
“It might be a broken ankle; we’ll have to get some X-rays and see.”
Zachery completed 8 of 17 passes for 166 yards and no interceptions. Hughes ran 14 times for 78 yards.
“Our offensive package has very few plays. They’re a good team, they scout us and know what we’re doing. So we have to go to our basic package, and that gets tough. We get sloppy, get penalties left and right, that kills us.”
“I don’t want to sound cocky, however, I thought their second quarterback did a fantastic job, and we held him in check,” Miller said. “I think we would have held their first quarterback in check as well.
“Our game plan was solid, we did a lot of film watching, and we were prepared.”
Apache Junction finished with 300 yards in total offense – 260 rushing and 40 passing.
“It was more of an attitude adjustment,” Miller said. “They came out on fire. The score was tight because we shot ourselves in the foot multiple times. We fixed it at halftime.”
This Friday, the Prospectors travel to El Mirage to face winless Dysart. The Demons are 0-6 overall, 0-1 in Black Canyon play.
“Dysart has always been a struggle for us every year,” Miller said. “They beat us two years ago when they won the region, and last year, it was the Ethan Zimmerman show where he scored all three of our touchdowns.”
The Demons lost their Black Canyon Region opener 28-21 on Sept. 28 to San Tan Valley Combs.
“This year, Dysart is a little bit down, but they still have huge offensive linemen and they can move the ball. We’re definitely not taking this lightly at all because we’re not in any position to do that.”
Miller added, “The table should be set over the next three games to face Glendale. They haven’t lost a game. It’s going to come down to Glendale and us.”
Photo above: The student section provided enthusiastic support for the Prospectors in their homecoming fooball win over Washington. (Photos by Daniel Dullum)