Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 | 11:59 p.m.
Vyron Rosquist Wallace saw the football flying in his direction. He saw plenty of open grass ahead of him, realizing he had what appeared to be a clear path to a touchdown.
But the Foothill junior defensive back narrowly missed the interception on Friday against visiting Basic in the Battle for Boulder Highway.
Later in the second half, Rosquist Wallace got another chance on a similar play, this time stepping in front of the wide receiver for the interception, which he returned about 35 yards for a touchdown. Wallace wasn’t the only Foothill defender to excel in the 27-0 victory.
Tofa Wilson had a blocked punt in the first quarter to set up a touchdown, brothers Micah and Jacob Johnson dominated the interior on the defensive line, and linebacker Colter McKee seemed to make every play in his direction.
“They are legit. The whole defense. They have been doing this all season,” Foothill coach Vernon Brown said. “Defense, once again, the story of the day.”
The defense has led Foothill to a 5-1 start to the season, including 1-0 in Southeast League play after beating Basic. They’ve surrendered just 80 points in six games — an extremely low number for high school football, where high-scoring games are commonplace.
“We are pressuring the other teams into mistakes,” Rosquist Wallace said.
Foothill’s offense continues to evolve, including Friday with a pair of Koy Riggin touchdown passes in the second half. Thomas Fisher-Welch had a 35-yard touchdown reception on a fourth-down play early in the third quarter to give Foothill a two-touchdown advantage and Isaiah Levy scored from 33 yards out in the fourth quarter.
The defense, like most weeks, did the rest. Basic had a few flashes of good play but didn’t mount a serious scoring threat in the second half.
“Our defense, I think we can stop anyone,” Wilson said. “I think we rarely make mistakes. We can shut down all teams.”
Foothill lost its first game of the season last week, falling 33-14 to Desert Pines — one of the better teams in town. But instead of being discouraged, the Falcons were encouraged. The feeling is they left points on the field. The feeling is Foothill held its own.
“We think we let one get away, to be honest with you,” Brown said. “We think we can play with those guys. In fact, we know we can.”
If the defense keeps playing like this, they could get the chance. That’s especially true if the offense plays like it did in the second half, efficiently moving the ball and scoring on two big Riggin throws.
“Offensively, we can move the ball,” Brown said. “Penalties, silly mistakes, that is what is killing drives. If we ever can get it clicking offensively, we’ll be tough to beat.”