Arbor View’s football team came into Friday’s game at Cimarron-Memorial looking to make a statement.
But Cimarron proved the third-ranked Aggies aren’t quite ready to sit at the big kids’ table. And more important, the sixth-ranked Spartans proved they are still a force to be reckoned with.
Cimarron (2-0, 2-0 Northwest League) dominated Arbor View (2-1, 1-1), posting a 35-7 win.
“We have a senior team, and we’re coming out here just to let everybody know that we’re still in town,” Cimarron quarterback Kenny Banks said. “We’re still in town, and we’re ready to work.”
Arbor View had outscored its first two opponents 93-7 and was averaging 474 yards of offense. But Cimarron held the Aggies to 311 yards, and the lone score came long after the outcome was decided. Arbor View ran only five plays inside Cimarron territory.
“The defense shut them down,” Banks said. “At the end, we were pretty mad that we didn’t get the (shutout). But it was on our second-string ‘D’, so we’re fine with it.”
Cimarron has long been known for its power running game, but it was a pass that got things rolling in the first quarter.
Banks hit tight end A.J. Morrison with a play-action pass over the middle for a 64-yard gain. The play was good for Cimarron’s first first down.
“We were looking for that, because the safety’s going to bite on that,” Banks said. “It was good to get it in the beginning so that we could get our momentum up.”
The play moved the ball inside the Arbor View 20 and set up Cimarron’s first touchdown, a 2-yard plunge by fullback Zach Barbara.
“We actually do practice passing,” Cimarron coach Rod Vollan said. “That was a great play by Banks. Banks threw the ball well tonight, and Morrison made an excellent catch and did a good job of getting yards after the catch. That gave us a little bit of a burst.”
Once the pass loosened things up, Cimarron’s ground game picked up speed.
Senior running back Stephen Nixon scored on an 11-yard sweep around the left side with 10:05 to go in the first half to make it 14-0.
Nixon added a 56-yard TD run in the third quarter and finished with 97 yards on 12 carries.
“When Steve gets the corner, Steve’s fast,” Vollan said. “That’s his job.”
James Poole added a 5-yard TD run, and Banks threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Tim Hasson with 4:13 to go in the fourth quarter.
The play came on fourth-and-16, and Hasson took the pass out of Arbor View defensive back Demon Scurry’s hands at the 10 and walked into the end zone.
Banks completed 3 of 4 passes for 114 yards.
Arbor View’s only score came on a 74-yard run by Scurry with two minutes to play. It was Scurry’s second carry of the season, and both have gone for touchdowns.
Cimarron’s roster includes 30 seniors, and Vollan said that experience has been key for the Spartans’ strong start, especially when they jumped right into league play.
“Realistically, you could look at our schedule and we could be 0-2,” Vollan said. “We feel fortunate to be 2-0. It helped to have senior leadership, because these kids have experienced big games. They’ve experienced playoff situations, so that was really to our advantage to get off to a good start.”