Mesa Celebrates Homecoming With Win Over Jurupa Hills

By Aaron Rachman Murrieta Mesa High School's football team rolled to an easy win over Jurupa Hills of Fontana in its Homecoming game,...


By Aaron Rachman

Murrieta Mesa High School's football team rolled to an easy win over Jurupa Hills of Fontana in its Homecoming game, 49-10, on Friday, Sept. 25.

Jurupa Hills took the opening kickoff and ran 7:30 off the clock in the first quarter, but settled for a field goal to lead 3-0 early in the game. Mesa didn't take long to get on the scoreboard, however, when McKinley Ross ran it in for a 61-yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Mesa.

Jurupa Hills fumbled on the first play after getting the ball back and Mesa took advantage when quarterback Peyton Uhl hit Logan Pharris for a 10-yard touchdown to end the first quarter.

Mesa took the ball to start the second quarter when Uhl ran it in for a touchdown to make it 21-3. It was all Mesa from there on out. Later in the quarter, Kai Thompson took it in for a touchdown to make it 28-3 at the half.

"They’re hitting their stride right now," Mesa coach Justin Schaeffer said about Ross and Uhl. "Neither one of them has played their best game yet. It’s the right time for these guys to be ready to hit their A game.

"McKinley ran real well. We blocked and protected him and Peyton. We’re starting to see the offense work better and better each week."

Mesa (3-2) opened the scoring in the second half when backup quarterback Jeff Miller hit Maxwell Scott for a touchdown. Later in the quarter, Miller threw an interception, which Jurupa Hills ran back for a touchdown to make it a 35-10 game.

Later in the quarter, Ross hit the goal line again when he ran it in for a 2-yard touchdown run to take Mesa to a 42-10 lead going to the fourth quarter.

Mesa celebrated its Homecoming Friday night and the Homecoming Queen also happens to be Mesa's backup placekicker. Ann Blackwood came in to kick an extra point in the third quarter and became the first female Mesa football player to score a point in a game.

"It’s cool for the program," Schaeffer said about Blackwood. "She’s part of our team and the entire team is very happy for her. We didn’t put her in because she’s Homecoming Queen; we did it because she puts it through the uprights every day in practice."

Mesa has a week off and then opens Southwestern League play on Oct. 9 when it hosts crosstown rival Murrieta Valley.

"The most important thing we’ve got to do is get everyone healthy," Schaeffer said. "We’ve got a lot of guys banged up. We just have to iron out the kinks.

"We’ve had significant execution problems in every game. It just comes down to making the kids believe that everything that’s happened so far is things we can fix. We’re going to go back to basics with the light week this week and get some guys ready to play."

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