Mingus Vs Flagstaff

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Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 9:00 am

Mingus Union defeats Flagstaff, even without any semblance of balance.

A good team plays well against most opponents at full strength. A great team plays well against most opponents even when not at full strength. That was the test the Mingus Union Marauders faced this past weekend when facing the Flagstaff High Eagles at the NAU Skydome.

In a division where many of the teams emphasize a wishbone and I-formation heavy running attack, the Marauders are usually much more balanced. Senior quarterback Antoine Zabala came into the game with 1596 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Along with star senior running back Alex Nelson, they formed a great and balanced tandem that strikes fear into the hearts of the defenses they pillage.

However, as Mingus Union prepared to face 3-5 Flagstaff High, they had to win without the services of their star quarterback. Facing a different test than they have had all season for a full game was a challenge, but they decided to face it by using their other weapon, Nelson. Coach Robert Ortiz decided to play their running back Alex Nelson at quarterback, who has only attempted one pass this season for 33 yards and ride him to victory. The game plan was simple, put Nelson in the shotgun, and have the receivers and blockers lead the way for him to rack up yards on an undersized Eagles defense.

The plan worked to perfection as Nelson rushed 40 times for 230 yards and 3 touchdowns in a Mingus Union 28-24 victory over the Eagles. Even without their senior leader, they were able to move the ball very effectively against the Eagle’s defense. It wasn’t a balanced attack as Nelson only attempted one pass all game which was incomplete in the endzone. Flagstaff knew what was coming,but could not stop him as the blockers overpowered the Eagle’s defense and the receiving corp led by 6’4 Chaz Taylor gave him plenty of holes to run through.

With the win, the Marauders improve to 7-2, 4-1 in section play on the season, and now they head into a sectional championship showdown next week at 7-2, 5-0 Prescott.

The Marauders proved they are a great team because they were able to win on the road without their senior leader, and without their usual balance on offense.