The mission for Durango’s football team is clear: return to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
The Trailblazers took another step toward that goal Saturday with a 49-20 victory over host Desert Oasis.
“Nothing else matters save for making the playoffs this year,” Trailblazers coach Scott Murdock said.
Rebounding from its first loss of the season to Coronado a week before, Durango (3-1, 2-0 Southwest League) dominated the first half, jumping out to a 29-0 lead behind the play of quarterback Kaden Renshaw and running back T.K. Fotu.
Renshaw ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more. The junior was 14 of 27 passing for 154 yards and a pair of scoring passes to tight end Jayden Nersinger, and added 92 yards on nine carries.
Fotu, also a junior, ran for 158 yards on 13 carries, including scoring runs of 49 and 20 yards.
Renshaw added a 25-yard touchdown run off a scramble with 4:40 left in the second quarter to put Durango up 22-0. The junior then ran a two-minute offense well in marching the Trailblazers down the field before hitting Nersinger down the seam for a 12-yard touchdown pass right before halftime.
Fotu added a 20-yard scoring run on Durango’s opening drive in the second half.
Desert Oasis trotted out a young team Saturday, and had to convert wide receiver Cedric Allen into a first-time varsity starter at quarterback for the game against the Trailblazers.
“We had to move things around and put him (Allen) in at quarterback,” said interim coach Cooper Harris, who was filling in while coach Michael Ovens attended to a personal matter. “He’s had perhaps one hour of practice of being a quarterback before this game.”
Allen went 5 of 13 for 72 yards and was picked off twice, but progressed as the game went on. The Diamondbacks broke through for three scores in the second half as Allen threw for one and ran for another. Christian Vaughn rushed for 74 yards and a score on 21 carries for Desert Oasis.
The 20 points scored by the Diamondbacks (0-4, 0-2) easily surpassed the total of the previous three games combined, where they scored just six.