When Phoenix Horizon hired former University of Arizona quarterback Kris Heavner as its head football coach in the offseason, it was only natural to think that the Huskies’ offense would be upgraded.
What the team has done in its first four games has gone beyond expectations, except maybe those of Heavner.
Horizon (3-1) went wild against host and rival Phoenix Paradise Valley (3-1) on Thursday night (Sept. 19), rolling up 758 yards of offense in a 73-28 victory. Perhaps it only was coincidence that the PV scoreboard malfunctioned most of the night, presumably from overwork.
“We are an explosive offense if we execute,’’ Heavner said in an understatement.
Leading the way was do-everything senior running back Luke Quinn.
He scored six touchdowns, three on the ground and three on pass receptions from junior quarterback Dalton Sneed.
Quinn rushed for 150 yards on 14 carries and caught four passes for 98 yards.
“He is a D-I (college Division I) kid. If somebody doesn’t offer him, something is wrong,’’ said Heavner of the 5-foot-9, 180-pound Quinn, who as a defensive back also stole the ball away from a Paradise Valley running back in the second half.
Heavner also was pleased with the play of his defense, which held Paradise Valley scoreless in the second half and created four turnovers overall. But he watched too many yellow penalty flags fly against his team.
“We’ve got to clean that up,’’ he said.
Horizon won the opening coin toss but deferred, a sign that Heavner was not worried about whether his offense would be able to operate.
Shane Kortas started the scoring parade with a 2-yard touchdown run on the Huskies’ first possession, which went just 46 yards after PV took a chance and turned the ball over on downs with its first chance.
The Horizon defense then stepped into the spotlight when linebacker Cole Finochiarro returned a fumble 35 yards for a touchdown.
PV cut the lead to 14-7 on an 8-yard run by sophomore quarterback Daniel Bridge-Gadd, but Horizon came right back to make it 21-7 on a 40-yard pass from Sneed to Jason McLaurin. Sneed was 17 of 28 passing for 391 yards.
Quinn scored twice in the first half, and Horizon built a 38-28 lead at the half as Danny McAtamney booted a 22-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.
Horizon punted on its first possession of the second half. PV went for it again on its first series of the second half and fell short, giving the Huskies excellent field position at their 47.
They wasted no time as Sneed and Quinn connected for a 53-yard touchdown. The Huskies never looked back.