Palo Verde used six third-quarter turnovers to pull away for a 51-14 home win over Shadow Ridge on Friday.
Palo Verde (2-4, 1-0 Southwest League) led just 17-7 at the half, but running back Aaron Chisolm had a 47-yard touchdown run up the middle on Palo Verde’s opening drive of the second half.
Senior linebacker Chauntez Thomas returned a fumble 60 yards for a score on Shadow Ridge’s next possession, and senior defensive lineman Kameron Toomer returned a fumble 84 yards for a touchdown on the Mustangs’ following possession to make it 38-7.
Palo Verde forced a fumble on the next drive, as well, and capitalized with a 8-yard TD rush by Christian Bell. Two plays later, the Panthers’ Dylan Turner recovered yet another fumble, but Shadow Ridge returned the favor with a fumble recovery by Trevor Sablan two plays later.
Turner had an interception on the Mustangs’ very next play, and on the following play, Nolan Erickson scored on a 6-yard carry with 20 seconds left in the third quarter for a 51-7 lead.
Palo Verde took an early 10-0 lead on a 23-yard field goal by Aaron Mack, and a 26-yard TD pass from Tanner Jackson to Pearson Schroll in the first quarter.
Shadow Ridge (0-6, 0-2) took advantage of penalties and scored on a 1-yard run by quarterback Brevin Frisch that capped an 11-play drive and cut the lead to 10-7 early in the second quarter.
Thaddeus Wiley scored on a 9-yard rush before halftime for the Panthers.
Chisolm finished with 73 yards on eight carries, and Bell rushed for 71 yards on nine runs for Palo Verde, which got three sacks and a fumble recovery from Kavika Covington.
Frisch was 10 of 18 for 138 yards, and Aubrey Nellems contributed 111 yards of offense and a 16-yard rushing score for the Mustangs.