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Peace be with them – No. 2 CDO beats Douglas, earns coach 100th career victory


CDO’s Dustin Peace is 100-48 in his 14 years as the Dorados’ head coach (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

DOUGLAS — Dustin Peace was so engrossed with coaching CDO’s reserves to the very last second Friday night in a 49-6 win at Douglas that he became oblivious to what was coming.

The Dorados’ defense recorded a sack in the last play from scrimmage. The last few seconds were ticking off.

Peace, on the brink of his 100th career win as a head coach, was still shouting out assignments as if the game was coming down to the last play.

That was until he heard his standout lineman Sa’Kylee Woodard say “congratulations” behind him.

“And then (exploding sound with his voice), I got hit,” Peace said, soaking from that Gatorade shower delivered by Woodard and center Morgan Narcaroti and then another that shortly followed.

Of the six active Southern Arizona coaches with 100 career wins, Peace (100-48) is the youngest to reach the mark at 40 years old (a day before his 41st birthday). Mountain View coach Matt Johnson (126-77 in his 19th season as a head coach) is the next youngest, reaching 100 wins at age 43 in 2017.

Southern Arizona High School Football Coaching Records

List of top active Southern Arizona high school football coaches and their overall career head coaching records. Compiled and researched by AllSportsTucson.com.
CoachSchoolClWLTPct.Yrs
Jeff ScurranRio Rico4A257872.74729
Tom JosephSanta Rita2A171990.63325
Pat NugentMica Mountain4A143640.69120
Matt JohnsonMountain View5A126770.62119
Jorge MendivilAmphi4A113950.54321
Dustin PeaceCDO4A100480.67614

When they reached 100 career wins …

Data on active Southern Arizona head football coaches who have reached 100 career wins at the high school level. Note: The victories data for legendary Amphi coach Vern Friedli, who also coached at Morenci, is listed because he leads all Southern Arizona coaches with 331 career wins.
CoachSchoolNowAge100Age
Jeff ScurranRio Rico 25774199345
Tom JosephSanta Rita17164200446
Pat Nugent Mica Mountain14357201651
Matt Johnson Mountain View12648 201743
Jorge Mendivil Amphi11348201945
Dustin Peace CDO 10040202240
Vern FriedliMorenci/Amphi33174198144

“The challenge for them now is this is only the second time that I’ve been bucketed,” Peace said. “One was at U of A stadium. One was here tonight. The next one will be this season as well.”

The first time he was “bucketed” was in 2009 after CDO won the Class 4A, Division II state championship with a 40-0 win over Sabino, capping a 14-0 season in his first year as head coach.

The “next one” that Peace talked about is at the conclusion of this season when he hopes to claim his second state title.

CDO, ranked No. 2 in the state among 4A schools, is on the right path for that to happen.

The Dorados (5-1, 1-0 4A Kino) were on a roll before playing Douglas (3-3, 0-1) after all but eight players returned from last season, but Peace’s team became stronger Friday.

Ironwood Ridge transfer Jordan Thomas, a senior running back who rushed for 1,006 yards last season with the Nighthawks, became eligible after sitting out the first five games per AIA transfer rules.

Thomas made an immediate impact returning a punt 60 yards for a touchdown after the Dorados’ defense (in which Thomas plays cornerback) forced a three-and-out in the first possession of the game.

“To be out here, honestly, it was fun. It’s probably the most fun I’ve actually had playing football in my life,” said Thomas, who recovered a fumble in the end zone as a cornerback and gained 38 yards on a run that set up Caden Goldtooth’s 20-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Madsen with 2:27 left in the first half that built CDO’s lead to 42-0 and started the running clock.

Thomas also cleared the path for bulldozing Kayden Luke (a tailback with a fullback’s body at 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds) with a block that helped lead to Luke running 72 yards for a touchdown toward the end of the first quarter.

CDO scored on its first six possessions and never punted.

Luke also had touchdown runs of 35 yards and 19 yards. He carried the ball four times for 134 yards, an average of 33.5 yards a carry.

“I think it’s amazing,” Luke said about being with Thomas in the backfield, which also has the very capable Ethan Krominga, ViJay King, Jose Alba and others who can run the ball.

CDO’s Kayden Luke in the middle with Ryan Madsen (16) and Zack Rogowski (9) standing next to him (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

“I’ve got him on my back and I’m on his back,” said Luke of Thomas, who was a teammate of his at Ironwood Ridge before Luke transferred heading into last season. “We get after it every day at practice. We’re like brothers at the end of the day but we do compete at practice.”

Luke paused when asked about what it’s like to play for Peace.

“He cares about us more than … not our parents … but he’s our dad,” he said. “You can call him at 3 o’clock in the morning and he’ll be there.”

Peace’s experience Friday with his family, his players and their families and his coaching staff consisted of an excursion to southeast Arizona, including a trip to the O.K. Corral at Tombstone. They watched the gunfights of the wild west and ate lunch before heading to Douglas like one big family with him being the “dad” directing all of it.

In the middle of everything, Peace received text messages from his former players, wishing him the best heading into his potential 100th victory.

“Throughout the day, I got texts from from parents, from kids, all day preparing for that moment,” Peace said. “I got a text from a kid we had … Quentin Kime, a kid who graduated with (Robert) Metz and Blake Martinez (in 2012). He tore his ACL his senior year. You get back to thinking about all these moments, and all these kids you’ve had and where are they now?

“One of the things I do miss I know being here this long is keeping the connection with all of those kids throughout all of those years. I still have good bonds but I get to thinking about every last kid.”

NOTES

The last time Peace traveled to Douglas was in 1997 when he was a sophomore running back/linebacker at Flowing Wells, and the Caballeros prevailed 37-20. … CDO had not played Douglas since traveling there in 1979 and losing 6-0. CDO beat Douglas 24-15 in the 1976 Class AA state championship game that was featured by AllSportsTucson.com before the season as one of the top 50 state title games involving Southern Arizona schools. The Dorados now lead the series 5-3. … Douglas QB Aiden Rodriguez, a budding baseball prospect as a pitcher, missed last week’s game at Phoenix Carl Hayden because he was on a recruiting trip to a college in Washington. … CDO hosts Pueblo (4-2, 0-1) on Friday while Douglas visits Mica Mountain (2-4, 1-0) in 4A Kino action.

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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