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October 20, 2014

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Cimarron hammers Shadow Ridge in shutout win

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The next two weeks could prove the toughest of the football season for Cimarron-Memorial.

The Spartans (2-2) play at Arbor View (4-0) on Sept. 26 and host Palo Verde (4-0) on Oct. 3.

Coach Rod Vollan said despite a 46-0 homecoming win against Shadow Ridge on Friday, his team needs to be more physical if it’s going to compete for the Northwest Division title.

“I believe you can never be too physical on the field,” Vollan said. “On offense, we have to block the correct man. On defense, we need to read our keys properly. On special teams, we need to shed our blocks and make tackles.”

Spartans junior running back Steven Nixon said the team knows it’s going to be tested by Arbor View.

“We’re going to need to come out and be physical. We’ve got to keep our head in the game and not do anything stupid,” Nixon said.

After starting the season 0-2, the Spartans have won back-to-back games.

“We’re happy for the kids, happy for them to win homecoming, but now it’s time to move on,” Vollan said. “We’re 0-0 going into Arbor View.”

Meanwhile, Shadow Ridge is back on the road, heading to Legacy and looking to end a three-game losing streak.

“We need to get better. We’re a young team, and we need to stay positive,” coach Gabe Gledhill said. “They never gave up and I’m pleased with that.”

Against Cimarron, however, the Mustangs were unable to corral Nixon, who scored three first-half touchdowns to lead his team to a 39-0 halftime lead.

“It was all momentum. We lost our homecoming game last year and didn’t want to lose this year,” Nixon said.

Nixon’s first-half production bested Shadow Ridge’s total offense for the game, 142 to 123 yards.

“We knew we had to stop him and we weren’t able to. I tip my hat to a great kid,” Gledhill said.

Nixon scored on runs of 1, 10 and 45 yards in the first 14 minutes, 36 seconds of the game. Cimarron had 242 yards of total offense, all on the ground.

“We’re a power-running team. Steve ran hard. He doesn’t need much room to make things happen, but that doesn’t happen if our o-line doesn’t block and our fullback doesn’t block,” Vollan said.

Junior running back James Poole had a 16-yard touchdown run in the second quarter with just under three minutes left to give Cimarron a 33-0 lead.

The Spartans' defense and special teams even got in on the scoring. Senior wideout Aaron Dupree returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter to give Cimarron a 27-0 lead. Senior linebacker Triton Manumaleuna recovered a Shadow Ridge fumble in the second quarter and returned it 21 yards with 1:29 left in the half.

“When I was running, I felt like the fastest guy on the field. When I got to the end zone, I thought this was a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Manumaleuna said.

Junior linebacker Charlie Siva stripped the ball from Mustangs senior running back DeAnwan Miller III in the fourth quarter and returned it 22 yards for the Spartans final score.

It was the second consecutive game for the Spartans defense to score at least two touchdowns.

“We’re being more aggressive and if we keep that up, good things will happen,” Vollan said.

Brent Hinckley can be reached at 990-2687 or [email protected].

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