There they stood, brothers with battle scars, arms intertwined and singing the school fight song.
That’s the way Phoenix Horizon’s football team celebrated its 48-24 victory over visiting Anthem Boulder Creek on Friday night (Oct. 18).
It’s all a part of a sense of community and camaraderie that first-year coach Kris Heavner is trying to instill in his players – all for one and one for all.
It has worked so far. All that stands between the Huskies and a perfect 8-0 record was a three-point loss to powerful Tempe Marcos de Niza in the season opener.
Even back then, Horizon gave its fans a hint of things to come – they scored 53 points in that loss – and have kept scoreboard operators on their toes.
Horizon (7-1) spotted Boulder Creek (4-4) an early field goal in this one, then came back to take control and was not threatened again.
Even so, Heavner called Boulder Creek “a good team. Our scores have been so lopsided that we needed to be tested.’’
Now the Huskies turn their attention to next week’s opponent, Phoenix Pinnacle, a fellow Paradise Valley Unified School District school, which is 6-0 lifetime against Horizon.
Heavner called his team’s play sloppy against Boulder Creek, at least in terms of penalties and turnovers, but was pleased with the play of his defense, despite the fact that it gave up 457 total yards.
Horizon picked up 549 yards total offense, much of it spread between quarterback Dalton Sneed and running back Luke Quinn.
Sneed, a junior, rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries and completed 13 of 19 passes for 271 yards and two scores.
Quinn, a senior, rushed for 92 yards and three TDs on 12 carries and caught five passes for 100 yards.
Heavner, a former quarterback at the University of Arizona, is impressed with the development of Sneed.
“He’s already a heck of a quarterback,’’ Heavner said. “He has multiple reads. And I will call four or five plays in to him and he will check into the right play. Not many kids can do that. Heck, not many people at Arizona could do that.’’
Horizon had a 20-10 lead at halftime, thanks to a 5-yard run by Quinn, a 71-yard scoring pass from Sneed to Jason McLaurin and a pair of field goals by Danny McAtamney, including a 46-yarder.
Any hopes that Boulder Creek had of getting back into it were pretty much dashed when Horizon took the second-half kickoff and moved 59 yards in five plays. A 24-yard run by Sneed, followed by a 16-yard run by Quinn, set up Quinn’s 8-yard scoring run to make it 27-10.
Boulder Creek quarterback Gunther Johnson had a solid effort, rushing for 68 yards and a TD and completing 19 of 30 passes for 248 yards.