Palo Verde’s offense is usually built around a potent ground game, but the Panthers did plenty of damage through the air Friday night.
Sophomore Parker Rost threw for 106 yards and three touchdowns as Palo Verde rolled to a 48-0 victory at Mojave.
“He stepped up to the plate and got it done,” Palo Verdo coach Darwin Rost said. “(Mojave) had one safety back and they were crowding the line of scrimmage. So we attacked the safety.”
In his previous two games, Parker Rost only attempted six passes, completing one for 6 yards and no touchdowns.
The sophomore signal caller wasted little time going to the air Friday, opening the scoring with a 16-yard touchdown strike to Jonathan Maxwell.
After Jerrol Garcia-Williams returned an interception 21 yards for a touchdown three plays later, Rost hit sophomore Jake Ortale with an 11-yard TD pass for a 21-0 lead with 26 seconds left in the half.
The key play of the drive was a 48-yard completion to junior Lee Griggs on third-and-11.
“They took advantage of our weakness, which was the pass tonight,” Mojave coach Joe Delgado.
Second-ranked Palo Verde scored three times in the final 3:13 of the third quarter to pull away, starting with a 5-yard TD run by Griggs. Eric South set up the score with an 87-yard burst from the Palo Verde 6-yard line.
Following a Jacob Witham fumble recovery two plays later, Rost used the next play to again teamed up with Maxwell for a 31-yard touchdown pass.
Ryan Beaulieu’s 63-yard punt return set up Griggs’ second scoring run of the night, a 3-yard out on the final play of the third quarter that made it 41-0.
Backup quarterback Patrick Gutierrez closed out the scoring on a 5-yard keeper with 3:04 to play following a fumble recovery by Patrick Tofaeono.
South led the Panthers (3-0, 2-0 Northwest League) with 110 rushing yards.
“I was proud of our kids,” Darwin Rost said. “We did what we had to do. We were able to execute and put up some points. We wanted to keep playing to our level and I thought we did that.”
Mojave (0-2, 0-2) was held to 105 yards of total offense, with Clarence Prophet piling up 51 yards on the ground.
“I’m impressed with how hard they played,” Darwin Rost said of the Rattlers. “They really battled us.”