Bonanza’s football team wasn’t supposed to pose a threat to No. 2 Arbor View, but Aggies coach Dan Barnson knows better than to look past an opponent.
So when the Bengals used a trick play on their first play from scrimmage and cut Arbor View’s lead to 7-6 early in the first quarter, Barnson knew it was time let his best players run free.
Barnson did, and so did the Aggies en route to a 45-12 home win on Friday.
Aggies senior running back Kyle Graham rushed for 180 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries en route to 226 all-purpose yards, and Daniel Mitchell added 114 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
“I walk through the hallways and say these are the (games) that scare me, because you’re supposed to (win) … and what if you don’t,” Barnson said. “But our kids came out and they did. Both sides of the ball.”
Arbor View (5-1, 2-0 Northwest) rushed for 406 yards, its biggest single-game output of the season. The Aggies out-gained Bonanza (2-4, 0-2) 462-104. Arbor View, which has outscored its opponents by an average of 20 points per game, has rushed for 1,805 yards this season.
Quarterback Logan Bollinger finished the night completing 5 of 8 attempts for 56 yards and a touchdown pass to Graham.
“Honestly, with my hogs, playing the preseason games against all these out-of-state teams, all these other kids are like 6-foot-3, 6-2, we got some big kids on our team, but none of our linemen were scared,” said Graham, who has rushed for 948 and 10 touchdowns this season. ‘They just got after it, they love the challenge and once they got after it they just grew as better players and have become one unit. We just gotta keep making plays on both sides of the ball, and we just gotta have fun with it at the end of the day.”
The Aggies were physical in the trenches, keeping Bonanza quarterback Julio Montenegro under duress all night. He completed 4 of 16 passes and threw five interceptions.
Arbor View linebacker J.J. Tuinei had two picks, and Demitri Ramirez, Nolan Weir and Rickie Davis each had one for the Aggies.
Armani Burns was a bright spot for the Bengals with two touchdown catches, including a 67-yard reception from center Leatuvaloalii Tulimasealii, who took a handoff from Montenegro, approached the line of scrimmage, caught the Aggies off guard and fired a perfect pass down the middle of the field.
“Defense has been playing great, they need to keep playing great,” Barnson said. “It’s been a couple of years in the making, they’re growing, and they got a long way to keep going.”