RENO—McQueen’s offense hasn’t exactly impressed this year.
The Lancers entered Friday’s homecoming contest against Spanish Springs averaging 28 points a night. That number can now be ignored.
Led by quarterback Joey Cox, McQueen (4-2, 2-0) scored touchdowns of eight of 11 possessions Friday night on its way to a commanding 55-31 home win over the Cougs (2-4, 1-1).
“I think they (Lancers) finally got a chance to showcase their team speed,” Spanish Springs coach Eric Borja said. “They’ve been bottled up for a couple weeks, just not getting those explosive plays. We gave them some open lanes and they took full advantage of them.”
McQueen racked up 525 yards of offense against the Spanish Springs defense on just 59 plays—good for 8.9 yards per play. Conversely, Spanish Springs needed 74 plays to cover 385 yards—a 5.2-yard per-play clip.
“Last week (49-14 win over Hug), we talked about it, I really felt we left some points on the field. We had a couple touchdowns that we missed balls, missed shots,” McQueen coach Jim Snelling said. “Tonight, we hit those shots. I think this team has a chance to do some things that are pretty special.”
Cox shredded the Cougs’ secondary, completing 18-of-23 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns. He did not turn the ball over once.
His counterpart, Spanish Springs junior quarterback Korbin Marcum, had a more difficult night. McQueen keyed on leading receiver Austin Cadenhead and forced Marcum to look elsewhere.
Marcum was held to 17-of-37 passing for 190 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
“They did a great job—and we knew they would—of adjusting to what we do and it was up to us to pick up what they were trying to do and attack it,” Borja said.
Cox’s third touchdown of the first half pushed McQueen’s lead to 35-10 with 1:27 left in the half but the Cougs marched 68 yards on seven plays to creep within 35-17 with just eight seconds left before the break.
Vargas ended the drive with a 5-yard touchdown. He ran the ball 17 times for 100 yards in the loss.
The momentum was short-lived. Brandon Aiyuk took the second-half kickoff 70 yards after a reverse to retake a 25-point lead, 42-17.
“That was huge,” Snelling said. “We said we wanted to get back and score as quick as we could and that was about as quick as you can score.”
The difference ballooned to 55-17 after a Damont Saah 66-yard touchdown late in the third quarter before the Cougs outscored their hosts 14-0 in the fourth quarter.
Things don’t get any easier for Spanish Springs next Friday as it travels to Reno (5-2, 1-1).
“We have to move past it,” Borja said. “Obviously we have to watch film, address where our issues are and fix them and get better otherwise it’s going to be tough games along the way.”