Jack Gross
ASU Student Journalist

Shadow Mountain running game leaves Madison Highland in the shadows with 41-13 win

September 23, 2023 by Jack Gross, Arizona State University

Shadow Mountain dominated the trenches in their 41-13 win over Madison Highland Prep. (Jack Gross photo / AZpreps365)

Jack Gross is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Shadow Mountain High School for AZPreps365.com

PHOENIX – The Shadow Mountain Matadors got into the win column for the first time this season in dominant fashion with a 41-13 win over the Madison Highland Prep Heat, while missing starting quarterback Joey Meyn. Ethan Damewood got the start in Meyn’s place.

The Matadors running back duo of Sean Collins and T.J. Allen rushed for 362 yards in total.

Head coach Ron Fagan felt that some of Shadow Mountain’s four losses were games they probably should’ve won.

“It felt real good,” Fagan said. “We finally stayed disciplined and stuck with the game plan.”

The Matadors got going quickly and put up 21 points in the first half. On their first play from scrimmage, Collins took a carry 59 yards for a touchdown. 

“Sean did a great job running the ball, but the real key was T.J.’s lead blocking,” Fagan said. “Every one of those big runs, he was smacking guys.”

Nothing could go wrong for Collins and the Matadors in the first quarter. After the defense forced a three-and-out, Collins and Allen led a slow drive down the field. That drive eventually ended with Collins running into the end zone from a yard out for his second touchdown of the quarter.

The next drive, the Heat went for it on fourth-and-5 in their own territory. A pass was nearly intercepted by Matadors DB Mateo Hernandez, but it was ruled incomplete. 

The Matadors then led another slow drive with the run game, finishing it off with back Isaac Ungor running six yards for the touchdown. 

Collins was spectacular himself, bouncing off tacklers, turning corners and following blocks.

“I worked hard at practice, but all my touchdowns were given to me,” Collins said. “Especially by T.J. He blocked his butt off.”

The rushing attack continued in the second half for the Matadors. Allen and Collins led the team down the field for two more touchdowns in the second half.

Collins finished the game with 26 carries for 242 yards and four rushing touchdowns.

Fagan admitted that they had planned to run a little bit more due to the absence of Meyn. Damewood only completed three passes all game, all coming in the first half. It was all they needed him to do. 

Shadow Mountain hasn’t had too many problems moving the ball all year. The difference Friday was the defense. In their previous four games, Shadow Mountain allowed 27 points or more. 

Against Madison Highland Prep, the defense stood strong against a good running game from the Heat.

Allen, who had 120 rushing yards, put together a good night on defense as well, with two passes defended. 

“We had to execute,” Allen said. “We were missing our quarterback, so I had to block a little bit more, do what I do.”

Madison Highland Prep had a couple of missed opportunities, failing to capitalize after recovering a fumble and missing a couple of big throws. As time went on, the Shadow Mountain run game just got more inevitable.

Shadow Mountain will look to stack victories as it visits Coronado High School next week.