Wildcats to scrimmage Bulldogs on Friday

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Team members pair off in a tackling drill, two on offense and two on defense in a confined space. Morenci has a scrimmage this Friday with Douglas.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – Morenci completed its second week of practice sessions Aug. 3 and will end its third with a home scrimmage against the Douglas Bulldogs on Aug. 10.

Douglas went 0-10 for No. 42 in Class 4A during 2017, while Morenci ended 8-4 overall, 7-3 in the regular season for No. 8 in 2A and 1-1 in the post-season.

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Morenci football players line up to go against a blocking sled.

The Wildcats averaged a score of 29-24 (955-784) per game or a 5-point margin compared to a score of 18-36 (538-1,091) per game or an 18-point deficit for the Bulldogs during the most recent three seasons (2015-17).

The two teams have met six times during the regular season in the previous 75 years (1943-2017), the last in 1982, with Douglas leaving Lawson Stadium a 28-8 winner (Oct. 29) during the facility’s inaugural season. Prior to that, the teams met from 1958-62 with the Bulldogs posting a 4-1 mark and a 28-9 (137-43) average score for five other games or a 19-point margin. Morenci’s lone win was 25-12 (Sept. 28, 1962).

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Wildcats put all the parts together to snap some plays during a week-ending squad scrimmage.

However, the upcoming meeting is a scrimmage, not a game. It is a chance for both programs to check progress and make corrections before the season opener the following week.

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Second-year head coach David Gallegos readies a tackling wheel for the next player during a practice session.

A total of 41 student-athletes suited up to end week two of practice sessions Aug. 3, with 15 seniors, 12 juniors, eight sophomores, and six freshmen.

The upperclassmen include seniors Matthew Aguinaga, Christian Alva, Collin Batchelder, Ruben Casillas, Cameron Dosela, Antonio Gallegos, Mario Garcia, Matthew Garcia, Tanner Hudman, Leander Kitcheyan, Isaac Pacheco, Jude Perez, Christopher Roybal, Mark Roybal, and Beau Wagner along with juniors Angel Arrellin, Tayshaun Blackman, Brandon Blair, Carlos Bray, Christopher Deck, Zachary Esparza, Matthew Harrington, Christian Lexa, Omar Ortega, and Tristan Williams.

Among the returnees are East Region first team members Mathew Garcia and Pacheco, second team members Alva, Casillas, Esparza, Harrington, and Christopher Roybal plus honorable mention Gallegos, Perez, Mark Roybal, and Wagner. Mathew Garcia and Pacheco were also selected all-conference second team.

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Assistant coach Benji Morales holds up a play the Wildcats will run next.

Underclassmen include sophomores Clayton Basham, Adam Chacon, Joseph Hernandez, Mark Martinez Jr., Paul Daniel Moreno,  Lance Morey, and Jaydin Yazzie plus freshmen Vance Arthur, Brendon Enriquez, Alonzo Martinez, Tony Roybal, Richard Trott, and Gabriel Yanez.

Joseph Garcia, Joseph Morse, Rego Padilla, Clay Ruedas, Josh Sandoval, Fred Gallegos, and Benji Morales are assisting second-year Morenci head coach David Gallegos.