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May 20, 2019

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high school football:

Sophomore QB shines for Foothill in blowout of Durango

Drew Doxtator passes for three touchdowns in first varsity start, Falcons win season opener

High school football teams kick off season

KSNV coverage of season-opening football game between Durango and Foothill high schools, Aug. 25, 2011.

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Foothill High's Drew Doxtator didn’t play like a sophomore quarterback receiving his first varsity start Thursday night.

He consistently made the big play look easy in passing for nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns in the Falcons' 45-28 victory against visiting Durango in the first game for both schools.

Doxtator kept the Foothill offense running smoothly, never appearing intimidated or nervous. In addition to being his first game, the contest was also the Thursday Night Lights television game of the week.

“I just love to play the game of football,” Doxtator said. “For me, it was just like another game, because my coaches did such a good job preparing me.”

Doxtator replaced the graduated Parker Riggin, who quarterbacked the Falcons to playoff wins the last two years.

Instead of suffering a rough transition, Doxtator performed like a seasoned veteran. He completed several impressive throws, ranging from a fade pass into the end zone for a touchdown to avoiding blitzing defenders and completing a pass on the run.

“He is a pretty mature kid for his age,” Foothill coach Marty Redmond said. “He is pretty composed. He made a lot of good decisions and he has playmakers out there catching the ball for him, too. That helps. All of the kids have confidence in each other, and he was the one to make the plays tonight.”

Foothill opened the game with consecutive rushing touchdowns by Jarrett Arcangel, with the second score set-up by a 74-yard reception from Doxtator to Kyle Keplinger on a third-down play.

Most sophomores would have been rattled under pressure, but Doxtator stepped up and completed the pass to bring the ball to Durango's 3-yard-line.

After Gene Germain scored on a 13-yard scoring run to cut the Foothill lead to 12-6, Doxtator connected with Tyren Boykin on a fade pattern near the back of the end zone to extend the lead. It was a perfect pitch and catch.

“I love throwing to ball to him. I could throw to Boykin all day,” he said.

In the third quarter, he connected with Boykin again, this time for a 46-yard scoring strike to extend the Foothill lead to 31-14. On the next possession, he found a wide-open Keplinger on a screen, and the senior went untouched for a 68-yard touchdown.

Keplinger, Foothill’s team leader, had three catches for about 150 yards. Arcangel rushed for 81 yards on 17 carries with a pair of touchdowns, and Naim Muhammad had an impressive 63-yard touchdown before halftime.

While it was just the first game, the balanced offense gives Redmond plenty of options when game-planning for the rest of the season.

Durango junior running back Arie McQuaig shined in the loss, scoring a pair of touchdowns and rushing for more than 100 yards. His first touchdown came on a 55-yard pass from quarterback Scott Martinez late in the third quarter, but the Trailblazers were already trailing by 24 points.

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