Thompson scores 5 TDs in Murrieta Mesa's victory

Kai Thompson tries to avoid a defender, then receives a pat on the helmet from Connor Mazzotta during Friday night's game. Photos by Cor...

Kai Thompson tries to avoid a defender, then receives a pat on the helmet from Connor Mazzotta during Friday night's game.
Photos by Corinna Root

By Tim Sahar

The Murrieta Mesa High School Rams dominated the Palm Springs Indians Friday night, 48-7, improving to a 2-0 start in their season.

Picking up where they left off from their 70-14 rout of Montclair last week, the Rams were just as hungry, but were also a lot more poised to take on the Indians.

Right from the get-go, Murrieta Mesa sophomore defensive end Collin Layton got all over Palm Springs quarterback Jeremy Dotson, getting one of his five sacks on the Indians' first offensive possession.

The real story, however, was junior running back Kai Thompson. He rushed for a game-high 128 yards on 20 carries for 4 touchdowns, plus a pass reception for 8 yards and another touchdown.

"I wanted to get aggressive real quick, because I knew they (Palm Springs) were aggressive as well," Thompson said. "As long as we hit them hard first, I knew it was going to be a good game."

When asked how many touchdowns he thinks he’ll score by season's end, Thompson said, "I’m trying to break records, but I've got to keep up the work with my O-line so we can get there."

"He took (not playing last week) like a champ and played strong this week," said head coach Darrel Turner on Thompson’s performance.

There was simply no answer the Indians could think of to even slow down Thompson, let alone stop him from getting chunks of yardage time and time again. Every time Mesa seemed to be on the brink of a fourth down, Thompson was there to get the much-needed first down and exhaust the visitors to the point where they could barely focus on their defensive strategy.

Once the Rams were able to establish a comfortable lead, the runs kept piling on and on, as Murrieta Mesa went on to lead as much as 35-0 with 6:13 remaining in the second quarter.

Rams quarterback Jeff Miller also had a solid outing, completing 11 of 16 passes for 166 yards and 1 TD. Miller played conservative, yet smart, not making any silly mistakes that could have given momentum to the Indians.

Mesa’s defense and special teams played a key role as well, forcing five sacks, returning a blocked punt to the end zone, and recovering the football five times while constantly adding pressure to Palm Springs quarterback Jeremy Dotson, who had a 3-yard rushing TD for the Indians’ only score.

Murrieta Mesa will now prepare for San Jacinto High.

"This will be our toughest opponent thus far," Turner said.

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