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Offensive line play key as Mustangs roll over Rams

The one positive Shadow Ridge coach Frank Tousa said he pulled from his team’s season-opening loss to Snow Canyon (Utah) was how well his young offensive line played, and the physical strength he saw from it.

Saturday, Tousa’s offensive line flexed its muscle against visiting Rancho, opening holes for a rushing game that featured seven rushers who gained 318 yards to lead the Mustangs to a 47-2 win.

Tailback Tyrique Graham led all rushers with 83 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, and quarterback Dustin Puia threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Mustangs.

“We’re proud of ‘em for the job they did, there’s still work to do,” Tousa said. “Rancho played well, but there’s a new coach, new system; (they’re) struggling a little bit. Now we have to get ready for Centennial, which is a rivalry game.”

Rancho’s opening drive told the tale for the day, as the Rams coughed up the ball on their third play from scrimmage.

The Mustangs (1-1) needed just five plays to go 47 yards, opening the scoring on Puia’s 11-yard touchdown pass to KeyShawn Gammage.

After holding the Rams (0-2) to a three-and-out, the Mustangs wasted no time as Cody Alfar raced 51 yards on the next play, and with the conversion, Shadow Ridge was ahead 14-0 with 6:26 left in the first period.

The Mustangs scored on their first six possessions to take a 40-0 lead and never looked back.

“Everybody played well today; everybody stepped up that we gave opportunities to play,” Tousa said. “We did a better job with penalties and crucial times and converting stuff in the red zone. Our running backs did a better job of hitting the hole and putting it in the end zone.”

Alfar finished with 61 yards rushing, and Puia scrambled for 47 yards on the ground. Puia went 3-for-3 passing, all to Gammage for 71 yards and two touchdowns.

The Mustangs outgained the Rams in the first half, 319 yards to 14, including 248 rushing yards. Shadow Ridge finished with 389 yards of total offense.

Isaac Scott led the Rams with 30 yards rushing, while Lash Dean contributed with 23 yards on the ground.

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