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Running game boost Chaparral to Homecoming victory

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Sheik Fofanah Chaparral defeated Desert Oasis 28-7 Thursday.

Sheik Fofanah Chaparral defeated Desert Oasis 28-7 Thursday.

Leonardo Garcia

Leonardo Garcia

Sheik Fofanah Chaparral defeated Desert Oasis 28-7 Thursday.

Carlos Hurtado, Staff Writer

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Sophomore Sheik Fofanah rushed 86 yards on eight carries and scored two touchdowns in Chaparral’s 28-7 victory over Desert Oasis on Thursday in the annual Homecoming Game.

“I’m overwhelmed today,” Fofanah said of his strong day.

Desert Oasis focused on senior Tyray Collins, who rushed 66 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown. This forced Fofanah to step up to the plate.

“It makes me feel like part of the team,” Fofanah said. “It makes me feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. As long as I’m in the game, then I’ll be good. If they’re keying in on Tyray, I’ll step up.”

After going scoreless in the first four games of the season, Fofanah scored in consecutive games.

“He’s got more confidence in his running ability. He’s got that line that’s blocking for him. Coaches stepped up. We’re always coaching our kids up. Our chemistry hustle and identity are all up,” Chaparral coach Paul Nihipali said.

Senior Trayvius Hodge scored the lone Cowboy touchdown in the first half, leading to a 7-7 tie at the half, which surprised Nihipali.

From there, Nihipali and his coaches made adjustments that turned the game around.

“We went to the ground game. We just had to sustain our blocks. We made adjustments to the game plan,” Nihipali said. “We have running backs. We just needed to get the chemistry in there.”

The Cowboys scored three more touchdowns in the second half, pulling away from the Diamondbacks (0-5).

With the game seemingly in-hand, Chaparral cornerback Tre Roberts made a spectacular leaping interception that brought Nihipali and the players on the sideline to their feet.

Roberts struggled earlier in the game, including missing coverage on the Diamondbacks’ lone touchdown in the first quarter.

“He believed in himself and made a key difference,” Nihipali said. “If you make a mistake, step up. … I knew he was going to get [the ball.]”

After going 5-1 in nondivision play, the Cowboys start with a trip to Moapa Valley next Friday.

“The future games are going to get tougher,” Nihipali said of the final three games of the regular season.

Leonardo Garcia

Chaparral defeated Desert Oasis 28-7 Thursday.

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Running game boost Chaparral to Homecoming victory