Soroco quarterback Nic Paxton pulls away from a defender Friday night against North Park. Paxton rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two more, leading the Rams by the Wildcats, 37-0.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Soroco quarterback Nic Paxton pulls away from a defender Friday night against North Park. Paxton rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two more, leading the Rams by the Wildcats, 37-0.

Soroco football locks up home game against North Park

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— The Soroco High School football team flexed its muscles at home Friday night, and with a dominating win against North Park, the Rams ensured they hadn’t suited up for the final time in Oak Creek this season.

Soroco was great on offense and ruthless on defense, resulting in a convincing 37-0 win against the Wildcats.

“That was great,” senior Joey Anderson said. “A lot of people didn’t think we’d make it this far and have a home playoff game, but we surprised them.”

The victory closed out Soroco’s regular season home schedule and now the team is one game away from earning its first trip to the 8-man football playoffs.

The win locked the Rams (6-2 overall, 4-1 league) into second place in their division, which means they’ll play Haxton (6-2), which finished third in the 8-man North Plains division by virtue of a 33-20 victory against fourth-place Caliche on Friday night.

Knowing only that his team would play at home against one of those two schools, Soroco coach David Bruner had little trouble identifying his favorite part.

“I’m just glad they’re going to be the ones driving seven hours to play a football game, not us,” he said.

If the Rams can maintain the edge they showed Friday night, they could play beyond next week’s cross-division matchup.

Nic Paxton was at his best, running behind an offensive line that controlled the game much better than it had a week ago in a lopsided loss to West Grand. The junior quarterback ripped off long runs all night and found receivers deep when he had to.

It amounted to an absurd statline. He had 202 yards rushing, including three touchdown runs, and added another 153 yards and two more scores through the air.

Matt Regan was one of a number of Rams who joined Paxton in the big night, catching both touchdown passes. A.J. Anderson had four catches for 88 yards.

The defense, meanwhile, made life rough and painful on North Park, constantly breaking into the backfield for sacks and tackles for loss. It forced four turnovers.

“Everyone was hanging in there and doing their job,” Anderson said. “It wasn’t just one guy out there. It was everyone.”

Game statistics

Soroco 37, North Park 0

Soroco

First Downs 19

Rushes-Yards 41-294

Comp-Att-Int 8-14-1

Yards Passing 153

Total Yards 447

Fumbles-lost 2-1

North Park

First Downs 6

Rushes-Yards 33-152

Comp-Att-Int 6-14-2

Yards Passing 39

Total Yards 191

Fumbles-lost 4-2

SCORE BY QUARTERS

North Park 0-0-0-0—0

Soroco 14-8-15-0—37

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

S — 8:36 Nic Paxton 1-yard run. (Pass failed.)

S — 5:48 Matt Regan 10-yard pass from Paxton. (Regan pass from Paxton.)

Second Quarter

S — 6:56 Paxton 20-yard run. (Paxton pass from A.J. Anderson.)

Third Quarter

S — 5:39 Regan 20-yard pass from Paxton. (Anderson kick.)

S — 3:23 Paxton 56-yard run. (Ian Palyo run.)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing

N — Adrian Cereceres 15-71; Derrick Richard 6-16; Alex Anderson 12-65.

S — Nic Paxton 23-202, 3 TD; Ian Palyo 10-50; Matt Regan 3-6; Carl Rossi 3-21; Colton Martindale 2-15.

Passing

N — Anderson 6-14, 39 yards.

S — Paxton 8-14, 153 yards 2 TD.

Receiving

N — Clay Russell 4-24; Richard 2-15.

S — AJ Anderson 4-88; Joey Anderson 1-17; Regan 3-44 2 TD.

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