Minotaurs rout Chino Valley 41-14
CHINO VALLEY — Coming up against yet another tall task for the second week in a row, the short-handed Chino Valley football team couldn’t get anything going in a 41-14 loss to Odyssey Institute (4-1) during their homecoming game on Friday.
Heading into Friday’s contest against the Minotaurs, the Cougars have experienced a rollercoaster of a season thus far. Considering they were just shut out by powerhouse Arizona College Prep. 42-0 last week, it’s likely these past two games will be the lowest drop the Cougars will see this season.
Granted, Chino Valley was already coming in short-handed as they were without regular starting quarterback Jayden Smith after he suffered an arm injury last week. Against Odyssey this week, the Cougars then went on to lose tight end Dakota McMains and wide receiver J.R. Willingham, who a suffered a leg and back injury, respectively.
However, chances were that no one from Chino Valley was going to stop Odyssey running back Christopher Weaver. The senior posted a monster night and led the Minotaurs with four touchdowns on the night.
“We had a scouting report on him but Weaver is a great kid. He runs the balls hard,” Chino Valley head coach Wade Krug said. “With tonight’s game, he was easily over 100 rushing attempts. He’s just a workhorse back there. Nothing Fancy. You just give him the ball, he’s going to get you three, four yards every time.”
Despite Odyssey’s dominance throughout the night, the Cougars were the ones to draw first blood when they recovered a fumble in the first quarter.
The ensuing possession saw quarterback Tyler Carey, who started in place of Smith, find Collin Knight on the back-door cut inside the end zone to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead.
But Chino Valley went silent from there on out, giving Odyssey and Weaver the green light to bulldoze the defense virtually any time they wanted to.
The two sides were tied 7-7 at the end of the first quarter but Odyssey’s lead quickly ballooned to 21-7 by the half.
In the second half, the Minotaurs picked up where they left off by notching three more touchdowns in the third quarter to make it a 41-7 game. Meanwhile, the Minotaurs’ defense stood firm as the Cougars struggled mightily to pick up a first down and put together meaningful drives.
The Cougars at least went out on a high note and made some noise in the fourth quarter.
Krug opted to give running back Dante DeBono a shot at quarterback and it paid off. DeBono led a big drive that included two high-arching lobs of at least 40 yards to Kamren Loftin, which ultimately resulted in a consolation touchdown.
Even in defeat, the Cougars were still in high spirits and Krug said it is still not too late to turn this season around for the better, starting with a region game against Kingman Academy next Friday.
“One of the things we’ve been working on, for the last week or so, is just our attitude. We have a really bad attitude sometimes. When things don’t go our way, we start to self-destruct,” Krug said. “This week, we really took a hard look at ourselves on how we act like that. We focused on it and it showed tonight with our attitude and how positive we were during the game … But the guys went out and did what we asked them to this week. They’re going to get their breaks. They’re going to get their opportunity because they keep fighting.”
During the ceremonial homecoming festivities at halftime, Thomas Bartell and Ellie Joseph were named the senior homecoming king and queen.
Chino Valley (2-4, 0-0 West) will hit the road to take on Kingman Academy (1-3, 0-0 West) in the team’s first 3A West Region game on Friday, Oct. 4.
Aaron Valdez is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier of Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter at @Valaaron_94. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2031.