On September 20th, the Saints varsity football team defeated the Desert Mountain Wolves 35-14 for a big road win, making the team 5-0 overall. The Saints had a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter due to senior wide receiver Connor Butt catching a 39-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Derek Elsholz and rushing touchdowns from senior running back Dominick Mastro (154 yards and one touchdown on the night) and junior running back JD Roberts.

The Saints defense continued to play strong, only allowing 14 points the entire game, all in the fourth quarter. NDP’s defense sacked Desert Mountain senior quarterback Matt McCray seven times. Six of the sacks came from Roberts. Senior defensive tackle Spencer Roy had four solo tackles; he is second in the state in tackles as a defensive end.

Elsholz completed 11 passes on 19 attempts for 180 yards and three touchdowns.  Roberts, also a linebacker, led the team with seven solo tackles and had 15 yards rushing. 

Desert Mountain’s run game was shut down by the Notre Dame defensive line, with the Wolves running back struggling against Harvard commit senior linebacker Brock Locnikar. Senior kicker Griffen Chewning delivered two punts that combined for over 100 yards and made five extra points after touchdowns. 

Roberts was selected as the overall player of the game, with Elsholz earning the offensive MVP, Locnikar getting defensive MVP, and Chewning getting the special teams award. Elsholz’s main target was junior wide receiver Damien Owens, who had two touchdowns and 101 receiving yards. 

This big road win makes Notre Dame 5-0 on the season. An argument could be made that the game was almost a home game due to it only being 15 minutes away from the NDP campus and the Dog Pound showing up strong. Hungry for a state title, Notre Dame will continue with the positive momentum and play three games before fall break- Cactus Shadows, McClintock, and Horizon.