It was a simple task for Desert Pines on Thursday night — win at Chaparral to clinch a berth in the Sunrise Region playoffs.
Leon Hayes and Eric Wilkes made sure the Jaguars have more football ahead in 2011.
The Jaguar duo combined for five first-half touchdowns as Desert Pines rolled to a 48-8 road win over the Cowboys.
Desert Pines (4-5, 4-3) earned the No. 3 seed from the Northeast League and will visit Foothill on Nov. 4 in the Sunrise quarterfinals.
Hayes started the scoring relay 45 seconds into the game with a 14-yard run to give the Jaguars a 6-0 lead. Moments later, the senior running back took a swing pass from quarterback Travis Nofoa for a 57-yard score, and the Jaguars led by 12.
“We wanted a fast start tonight,” Desert Pines coach Paul Bennett said. “We wanted to set the tone early, and play with much more energy. I’m certainly proud of the way both Leon and Eric ran the football.”
Hayes handed things over to Wilkes in the second period, and Wilkes responded with one of the best quarters of the season. Needing only five carries, Wilkes posted TD runs of 72, 2 and 95 yards on his way to a game-high 180 yards as Desert Pines cruised to an early lead over the Cowboys (1-8, 1-6).
“Running the football is what we do,” Bennett said. “We have two guys that play a physical style, and that wears down people. Again, it was good to get off to a fast start.”
By halftime, the Jaguars had outgained Chaparral, 436-96, with 304 of those yards on the ground.
Besides Wilkes’ 180 yards, Hayes added 160 yards on 13 carries — 90 of them in the opening half. Desert Pines finished with 562 yards, 431 on the ground.
Chaparral junior Tyquan Anderson piled up 177 yards on 29 carries and the lone Cowboy score with eight minutes remaining.