Football: Roughriders roll at Tempe
September 9, 2017 by Allison Wdowiak, Arizona State University
Buckeye Youngker scored a 40-14 win after defeating the home team, Tempe, in Friday's non-conference game.
Tempe coach Brian Walker had junior Nathan Clayton starting at quarterback with a cast on his left wrist; a result of landing on it wrong after a play against Estrella Foothills three weeks ago.
The 6’6” quarterback put up 219 passing yards, using seniors Isaiah Bruner, Stevie Maddox and Dominic Harper on the receiving end.
With 11:15 left in the second quarter, Clayton passed to Maddox for 30 yards ending in the Buffaloes' first touchdown and a two-point conversion. Afterwards, Youngker countered with a touchdown with 1:16 on the clock to lead 20-8.
The Roughriders from Buckeye (1-2) kept it going. In the third quarter Greg Dotstry, a junior running back, hustled 40 yds into the end zone for another touchdown to make it 26-8.
Towards the end of the third quarter, Clayton passed to senior Jaren Walker for a five-yard Tempe touchdown. That made the sscore 26-14, but Tempe could not get closer.
Tempe (0-3) almost had a 78-yard interception by senior Luis Llamas in the 4th quarter, but a penalty of roughing the passer ultimately took it away.
With only a minute left in the game, the Roughriders increased the lead to 39-14 after senior Shane Cruz ran for a score. Youngker followed with the extra point for a 40-14 win.
Youngker’s defense was consistent, keeping Tempe limited to the two touchdowns it earned. Coach Anthony Cluff of the Roughriders said one of his senior lineman, Chris Rogers, has received scholarship offers from schools including Northern Arizona.
“Defensively, we worked on tackling from our secondary. I think our secondary did a lot better tackling, however, we still need a lot of work in that category," Walker said.
Clayton did struggle with connecting his passes to the receivers, but he was able to play through his injury.
"This is his first game back. He just needs to settle. He’s got a huge arm," Walker said.
“I’m not satisfied with only 14 points on the board. Our passing game, I could’ve been a little bit more consistent hitting my receivers and taking my time reading the defense," Clayton said.
Cluff said Friday was “a turn in the right direction. We've got a tough game next week but it’s nice going in there with a win.”
Youngker takes on Casa Grande at home while Tempe takes on Apache Junction.