Jocquez Kalili rushed for 178 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries to lead Desert Oasis’ football team to a 49-12 win over visiting Sierra Vista in the annual Railroad Rivalry game.
While the game ended up being one sided at the end, Sierra Vista took a 6-0 lead on a 3-yard touchdown run by freshman quarterback Randal Grimes early in the second quarter. The Mountain Lions’ defensive line even stuffed Desert Oasis fullback Blake Kutz on a fourth-and-1.
“Sierra Vista really controlled the line of scrimmage early on,” Desert Oasis coach Scott Staudinger said. “We have a lot of young guys playing on the offensive line, and it took them some time to get settled in. Once they did, they started executing their assignments and things started going a lot better for us offensively.”
Sierra Vista’s scoring drive seemed to ignite the Diamondbacks (3-1) as they drove 53 yards on 11 plays on their next possession to take a 7-6 lead. The drive was capped off when quarterback Richie Stammetti connected with Joey Poehling on an 11-yard touchdown pass.
“We knew if we kept doing what we do, eventually something would pop open and we’d be all right,” Stammetti said.
Kalili then took over, scoring the game’s next three touchdowns.
Following a punt by Sierra Vista (1-3) on its next possession, Kalili scampered 52 yards to give the Diamondbacks a 14-6 lead. The senior running back scored again in the second quarter on a 4-yard run. Late in the third quarter, Kalili scored on a 39-yard touchdown run to put Desert Oasis up 28-6. He added a 6-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter.
Kalili now has rushed for 893 yards and 14 touchdowns on 78 carries through four games.
“It’s hard to say what turned the game around, but once we got the one big play it kind of set it all off after that,” Staudinger said. “The guys started getting more confidence, started playing assignment football, and we got better on offense and defense.”
Desert Oasis’ defense also came up big, forcing six turnovers. Senior safety Jake Peterson intercepted two passes and senior defensive back Hunter Amos also had an interception. The Diamondbacks also forced four fumbles and recovered three.
Desert Oasis faces a big test on the road next week in its Southwest League opener against unbeaten Cimarron-Memorial.
“We’ve got to keep competing every day,” Staudinger said. “We show up every day, put in the work and prepare for every opponent hard. The moment you take the day off, you will find yourself in a bad situation. If we compete every day in practice it should bode well going forward.”