COTTONWOOD - Mingus football won, 74-8, in the Verde River Rivalry game against Camp Verde Friday night on Bright Field.
Fullback Dakota Hanks scored at will and Mingus substituted their second string and JV players early in the second half.
Everybody knew the lopsided outcome before the game started, but Camp Verde's players represented their school with respect. They got trounced, grinded, and chewed up, but they didn't give up and eventually their persistence paid off with a Doug Ashley touchdown catch from Kyle Lobaugh.
Never in the history of the rivalry has a team scored 74 points. Mingus place kicker Gilberto Quidera got a lot of reps. Consistent all year kicking the ball, Quidera also plays linebacker.
Quidera had a great regular season, playing his role on a menacing Mingus defense. Somewhere along the way, Quidera turned into an athlete.
"I've been working in the weight room, working on my squat, and my sprints. I've been going harder in practice, and it paid off," said Quidera. "I didn't play defense until this year, but I've been studying my plays and learning a lot from the coaches."
Playing alongside Josh Longfellow also helped Quidera's development at linebacker.
"He knows what he's doing. He's hard on me, but it helps a lot to have a guy like him on our team," said Quidera.
Soccer season starts in about two weeks, but if the football team makes a deep playoff run, the soccer team won't get their keeper for the first few games.
As Mingus readies for the playoffs, having a good kicker could make a big difference, especially in close games.
Finishing the regular season with a 7-3 record, Mingus earned a first-round home game against Coolidge.
The Coolidge Bears went 8-2 this season, but with a weaker schedule than Mingus. Home field advantage should play heavily into the game. Mingus rarely loses on Bright Field.
Friday, Nov. 2 on Bright Field at 7 p.m. It should be a good one.