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Fake punt, stout defense carry Basic to victory

It was a risky decision, and one that better work out if you don’t want be staring into the face of a seething football coach.

Fortunately for Kelly Armistead and Basic, he was absolutely right.

Armistead’s decision to fake a punt on Basic’s first possession on Friday night helped the Wolves (2-0) take control of the game on the way to a 25-6 road win over fifth-ranked Desert Pines (1-1).

Armistead came on to punt on fourth-and-six at the Basic 42 on the game’s opening possession. But he didn’t punt, instead scampering for 34 yards and a first down.

“That wasn’t called,” Basic coach Jeff Cahill said. “He got out there and read that they had nobody on the left side and he just took it. I told him it’s a great call as long as you make it.”

He did, moving the ball to the Desert Pines 24.

“He called it himself,” quarterback Tyler Dobbins said. “He said, ‘none of them are going to catch me,’ so he just took it and ran it, and he executed it perfectly.”

Five plays later Quinn Richardson scored on a 4-yard plunge to put Basic ahead.

From there, the Wolves had all the momentum.

“After that, they put their heads down and they were done,” Dobbins said. “We just played smash-mouth football and beat them.”

Cahill said: “That got the ball rolling, and we never let up on them.”

Basic was impressive on defense. Desert Pines had scored 50 points in its season-opening win over Cheyenne, but was held to just 177 yards of offense on Friday.

“Our defense is way underrated,” Cahill said. “Basic in the past hasn’t been known as a defensive team. This year, we’ve got guys flying around to the ball, and I think it’s one of our strengths.”

After the first score, Basic took advantage of one of four Desert Pines’ turnovers.

They recovered a fumble at the Desert Pines 29, and though the Wolves couldn’t get into the end zone, they did get a 20-yard field goal by Kevin Aviles.

The Jaguars stubbed their toe again on the next possession, as a bad snap on a punt attempt led to a safety that gave Basic a 12-0 lead with 11:45 to go in the first half.

The Wolves scored 13 points in the final 5:19 of the half. Devin James intercepted a Dalton Leilua pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown, and Aviles’ extra point made in 19-0 with 5:19 left in the second quarter.

Then on Basic’s final possession of the half, the Wolves drove 44 yards on four plays with Dobbins hitting Travis Tatiano with a 25-yad TD pass as time expired to make it 25-0.

Dobbins completed 11 of 25 passes for 182 yards and the touchdown. Taitano had three catches for 61 yards.

“It’s a nonleague game, but I think it’s as big as a nonleague game can be,” Cahill said. “We came into this game and everyone was picking us to lose, and lose big. Desert Pines put up 50 against Cheyenne, and we came out and shut them down.”

Chancellor Davis scored on a 2-yard TD run with 11:25 to go to account for the Jaguars’ points.

Davis finished with a team-high 55 yards on nine carries.

“This is a great win for us,” Dobbins said. “It proves that we’re better than we were last year.”

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