Arbor View spoils Palo Verde’s homecoming

Whatever the case was Friday night, No. 3 Arbor View didn’t have that same swagger as the Aggies had in the first five games.

An inspired Palo Verde team, playing in front of a huge crowd on homecoming, might be a reason.

Next week’s game against Legacy could be another answer for the Aggies’ lackluster performance.

But the Aggies shook off the slow beginning by scoring 27 unanswered points in Arbor View’s 27-7 victory.

The Panthers (2-4, 0-3 Northwest) took just 1:16 to score the game’s first points following Chamere Thomas’ interception of Aggies quarterback Logan Bollinger’s first pass on Friday night.

Thomas scored from five yards out three plays later and the Panthers grabbed the 7-0 lead.

It was all Arbor View from there.

Palo Verde had 29 yards rushing in the opening drive, but just 58 the rest of the night.

“Our defense was great tonight,” Aggies coach Dan Barnson said. “Palo Verde is a good football team but hats off to our defense.”

In fact, the Panthers had just 158 yards of offense, and quarterback Nick Zuppas completed just 7 of 31 passes.

Following Thomas’ score, the Aggies quickly answered as Rodney Pitts took the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to tie the contest at 7-7. Arbor View senior running back Jaquari Hannie added 144 yards and scored on runs of 24 and nine yards.

“We ran the ball decently, but made too many mental mistakes,” Barnson said. “We certainly will work on those things starting Saturday, I guarantee that.”

Arbor View (6-0, 4-0 Northwest) got a break late in the game for its final score, as punter JJ Tuinei dropped a snap but picked the loose ball up and went 56 yards for a touchdown.

Thomas led the Panthers with 74 yards on 22 carries.