Silverado found just the remedy for its sputtering offense Thursday night: a huge first quarter from Teran Madu-Jules and some clutch passing from Kyle Simmons.
Madu-Jules rushed for 107 yards in the first quarter, and Simmons connected on his first six pass attempts to lead the Skyhawks (6-3, 2-3 Southeast League) to a 40-15 road win over Foothill (5-4, 3-2).
Silverado had scored just 25 points in its previous three games.
“The player of the game tonight was Kyle Simmons,” Silverado coach Andy Ostolaza said. “He threw the ball well. I think that helped open up the run a little and helped Madu out. Kyle just did a great job tonight.”
Simmons, who replaced Trenton Tipton at quarterback for Thursday’s game, had passed for just 135 yards all season, but connected on 6 of 7 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns against the Falcons.
Both TD passes went to Tipton, who moved to wide receiver to give Silverado a speed threat in its passing game.
“He’s sat behind Trent this whole entire year,” Ostolaza said of Simmons. “And to come out and do what he did says a lot about the kid.”
Simmons hit Tipton with a quick slant on the opening drive, and Tipton turned it into a 40-yard touchdown.
Madu-Jules then broke off a 46-yard TD run on the first play of Silverado’s next possession, and the Skyhawks were clearly in control.
Madu-Jules added a 9-yard TD run before the end of the quarter as Silverado took a 20-8 lead after one period.
Though the Simmons-to-Tipton combination gave Silverado a passing threat, the Skyhawks certainly didn’t abandon the run.
Madu-Jules had 14 carries in his big first quarter. He finished with 161 yards and four TDs on 32 carries.
“Offensively we didn’t really change much as far as the play calling,” Ostolaza said. “We did a good job tonight of controlling the line of scrimmage, which we haven’t done the last couple weeks.”
Tipton finished with four catches for 117 yards. He caught a 29-yard TD pass from Simmons in the second quarter, and came down with a 32-yard catch between two defenders to set up Madu-Jules’ 3-yard TD run with 2:05 to go in the first half.
“I still can’t catch,” Tipton said.
Silverado pressured Foothill quarterback Parker Riggin all night, sacking him four times and intercepting him three times.
“Our kids are used to coming after the quarterback,” Ostolaza said. “It just worked out that we were a little quicker into the backfield tonight.”
Ladale Jackson had two interceptions, including one on a third-and-goal play from the Silverado 7 in the first quarter.
The win kept Silverado’s playoff hopes alive.
“It was a good win; it was much needed,” Tipton said. “We’re trying to keep our season going. You’ve got to have fun with it. We haven’t been having that much fun lately, and I think we’re ready.”
Del Sol, Basic and Liberty have wrapped up three of the Southeast’s four postseason berths.
The Skyhawks need to beat Green Valley next week and have Basic knock off Foothill.
“The defense is hitting, and we’re getting the job done,” Tipton said. “We want to get into the playoffs. This was our Easter.”