Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 | 11:59 p.m.
When defending 3A state champion Desert Pines started the season 0-2 with two scoreless outings by its formerly high-powered offense, it raised some eyebrows.
Coach Tico Rodriguez stayed the course and it paid off Friday night, as the Jaguars pounded Silverado 48-0.
“We didn’t panic,” Rodriguez said. “We knew we had guys who were missing and we’re starting to get full strength. We are a young team and we knew we would continue to improve and the competition level wouldn’t stay the same.”
The Jaguars challenged themselves with an opening game versus Bishop Diego in California, and followed it with 4A powerhouse Arbor View.
They came out of it bruised but battle tested.
Quarterback Tyler Williamson completed 12-of-21 passes Friday night for 244 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
“He did a good job getting the ball out to his playmakers,” Rodriguez said. “He had time to throw the ball thanks to the offensive line.”
But while Desert Pines’ offense finally looked like itself, the defense was the real star of the show — headlined by safety Jordan Howden, who intercepted two passes and returned both for touchdowns.
“He’s a big-time player,” Rodriguez said. “He has amazing ball skills and he made some tremendous plays.”