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Interceptions help Falcons roll past Trailblazers

Foothill’s football team displayed a knack for causing turnovers during its first two games of the season.

The Falcons continued the trend on Thursday.

Sean Hamilton had a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown, and No. 9 Foothill turned three second-quarter picks into 21 points en route to a 47-7 victory over host Durango.

Conner Thompson and Harrison Read also had interceptions for the Falcons (2-1), who have forced nine turnovers this season.

“We always stress getting to the ball,” Foothill coach Marty Redmond said. “You get kids running to the ball, good things will happen. We always tell them luck follows speed, and if we’re playing fast, good things will happen to us.”

Justice Jackson rushed for 116 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries, all in the first half. The senior had a 37-yard touchdown run with 3:24 left in the first quarter to give Foothill a 14-0 lead.

Thompson, a junior defensive lineman, intercepted Durango quarterback Jonathan Scofield on the first play of the second quarter, leading to Jackson’s 2-yard TD. Jackson carried six times for 40 yards on the eight-play drive.

Foothill took a 27-0 lead when quarterback Devon Mueller beat the Trailblazers’ blitz with an inside screen to Brandon Hargis, and the receiver went almost untouched for a 51-yard touchdown with 7:16 remaining in the second quarter.

Read made a diving interception near the sideline on the next drive as Scofield tried to throw away the ball to avoid the pressure of Foothill linebacker Jose Valenzuela. Three plays later, Jackson scored from 1 yard out to put Foothill up 34-0 midway through the quarter.

Hamilton’s TD return gave the Falcons a 40-0 lead at halftime.

“We just wanted to play good, solid defense and have good tempo on offense,” Redmond said. “I thought we picked it up a little bit (in the second quarter), played a little faster. So that’s always good.”

Foothill sat most of its starters during the second half and tacked on a 13-yard touchdown run by Blake Wilson midway through the fourth quarter to go up 47-0.

“We still have a lot to work on,” Redmond said. “The film will tell. We’ll sit down and break down every kid and get a good evaluation and see what we need to work on, and hopefully we can continue to get better each and every week.”

Troy Smidt relieved Scofield at quarterback late in the second quarter and provided a spark for Durango (0-4). He finished 9-for-15 for 158 yards and threw a 59-yard touchdown to Zayvion Wilson late in the fourth quarter.

Smidt also engineered two long drives that each ended with the Trailblazers turning over the ball on downs deep in Foothill territory.

Leontre Austin finished with 77 yards on 16 carries for Durango.

Contact reporter David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.



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