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Silverado crushes Desert Oasis behind dominant defense

Silverado football coach Randall Cunningham is happy when his defense plays well, and he left the field with a smile on his face Friday night.

The Skyhawks forced four turnovers while allowing just 4 first-half yards — stats that led to a dominant 36-6 victory over host Desert Oasis.

Keikiokalani Misipeka rushed nine times for 122 yards and two touchdown to lead Silverado, but Cunningham wanted to talk about his defense after the game.

“We’re built on defense because defense wins championships,” Cunningham said. “We’ve got great linebackers and great cornerbacks.”

The Skyhawks didn’t waste any time in asserting themselves and forced a fumble that Tyrece Newsome-Johnson returned for a 17-yard touchdown on the third play of the game.

Cunningham’s offense was just as effective.

Christian Baltodano connected with Devin Ross for an 8-yard TD on Silverado’s first possession to extend the lead to 14-0. Misipeka opened the second quarter with TD runs of 3 and 49 yards.

“He’s a scholarship kid,” Cunningham said of Misipeka. “He’s already got offers. He’s doing a great job.”

Nahzi Salih made it 36-0 with a 64-yard interception return touchdown two minutes later, prompting running time with 7:42 left in the first half.

“We have a lot of respect for Desert Oasis,” said Cunningham, who played his bench throughout most of the second half. “But we have to focus on ourselves.”

The Diamondbacks finished with just 91 yards of offense. Quarterback Jaden Mitchell scored their lone touchdown on a 26-yard run.

Salih added 25 yards on four carries for Silverado, which ran just 33 offensive plays.

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