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August 21, 2014

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high school football:

After not scoring in first quarter, Foothill’s offense puts up 57 points on Sierra Vista

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Foothill High football players, front (left to right) Jake Barefield and Dylan Weasa, and back Drew Doxtator and Bryce Broadwell before the 2013 season.

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer are back with their weekly look at high school football. In this episode, they debate how to rank Arbor View, Palo Verde, Green Valley and Liberty.

After Foothhill High senior wide receiver David Persi caught his third touchdown pass Friday, he raced back to the sidelines and told coaches that visiting Sierra Vista couldn’t stop the play they had just run.

He was right.

The 5-foot-8 slot receiver was wide open in the Sierra Vista secondary on two of the touchdowns he scored, racing untouched to the end zone. He scored on receptions of 13, 20 and 47 yards, helping the Falcons overcome an early two-touchdown deficit in winning 57-44.

The Falcons trailed 14-0 after the first quarter but still managed to score eight touchdowns. So, like Persi told coaches, they figured out how to attack Sierra Vista’s defense.

“They were giving us some things in the secondary we thought we could take advantage of,” Foothill coach Marty Redmond said. “We were able to take advantage of some seams in the middle of the field to get some big plays.”

Junior quarterback Nick Gardner passed for four touchdowns and rushed for another, and sophomore tailback Justice Jackson made amends for an early fumble with 123 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Foothill has scored 105 points in winning its past two games, showing it is capable of putting up big numbers in the attack. They scored 22 points in the second quarter to lead 22-14 at halftime, then posted 28 points in the third quarter to put the game away.

“It’s hard work and dedication, really,” Jackson said. “We worked our butts off all week. I’m speechless, just happy.”

While Foothill’s offense was solid all night, its defense showed it is still a work in progress. Foothill surrendered 61 points two weeks ago and 43 points last week, and allowed Sierra Vista’s skilled position players to do damage.

Running back Octavious Payne and quarterback Randal Grimes each had two touchdown runs for Sierra Vista, including a 74-yard run by Payne early in the third quarter when Foothill appeared ready to put the game away.

“We need to tackle better,” Redmond said. “Good teams always tackle well, and we didn’t tackle well tonight. So, that will be an emphasis for us.”

Gardner continued his stellar play under center, completing 11 of 14 passes for 187 yards. Bryce Broadwell had three catches for 90 yards and a touchdown for Foothill, which opens Southeast League play next week at Del Sol.

“When you can win when you didn’t play well, it’s always a good thing,” Redmond said. “We felt we played pretty ugly tonight defensively and we did some things poorly with special teams. Hopefully we can learn from those things.”

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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