CDO was losing 14-21 to Apollo with 4:30 left in the first half. Ka’Deem Carey “only” had 118 yards at that point with 50 of it coming off of a touchdown run in the second quarter.
The Dorados would punt the ball away with 3:06 left and Apollo would give the ball back after LB Jake Middleton recovered a fumble at the 25 yard-line.
A penalty pushed CDO back and then a snap would fly over the head of QB Mike Lewis and, instead of falling on the ball, Lewis attempted to pick it up but Apollo fell on the loose ball.
Apollo got the ball back with 2:00 left, riding a 7 point lead at their own 37 yard-line. CDO looked like they were missing something. They looked normal.
Apollo smelled blood and they attempted to move the ball again. A late score probably would have caused CDO to panic. Instead, a short running play, an incomplete pass and a short pass to the sideline left them with a 4-2 with 1:11 left.
Apollo had failed to run the clock out or score. And, for a few moments, Apollo was going to go for it on the fourth down play at their own 45 much like the New England Patriots attempted a few nights before. They wisely decided to punt the ball away after a timeout.
It was the right thing to do. Play the odds that your defense can stop CDO and go into the locker room with a 21-14 lead.
CDO took the punt and began at their own 19. A penalty moved it back to the 14 with 1:04 left. They looked satisfied being down by 7. Carey would rip off a 15 yard run on the next play. 52.8 seconds left. His next run went for 71 yards.
21-21 with 30 seconds left. And things went down hill from there for Apollo.
Apollo QB Jon Brown had complete control of the game at that point. He had already thrown for over 160 yards in the first half. Rather than getting under center and taking a knee, Apollo remained in attack mode.
They had their own bad snap and the Dorado defense crushed him at the 14 for a big loss and they sent him out of the game.
To the beginning:
CDO scored on their first drive on a 12 yard run by Lewis. It looked good early. But then Apollo started to pass at will with an open receiver coming from the double wide-out position, utilizing picks and screens. Apollo tied the score on a 4 yard run set up by a pass interference penalty in the end zone.
CDO would punt and Apollo marched down the field again and scored on a 2 yard run, again set up by a pass interference penalty in the end zone.
Carey would then score on the 50 yard run.
I can’t imagine what Apollo could have been saying in their locker room. They dominated yet Carey pulled off two long touchdowns to go with 207 yards in the first half. CDO, on the other hand, did not panic.
“We stuck to the basics. We wanted to come out and have some fun and play some football,” Dorado WR/S Jared Tevis would later say.
And, so the fun began.
CDO would score on the first drive of the second half on a 14 yard run by Carey. Lewis hooked up with WR Kelton Beattie for 27 yards on the drive to set up Carey.
Apollo got the ball back and it was clear Brown was still feeling the effects of being hit hard. They were forced to punt after an incomplete pass and a sack and CDO took the ball again after the 24 yard punt.
8:55 left in the third.
Lewis would score again on a 10 yard run with 8:09 left. The score was now 35-21 CDO.
CDO lineman David Studer would knock down Brown’s third down pass attempt and he would then break through the line to block the punt. CDO took over at the 13 yard line with 7:12 left.
Carey would score again two plays later. 42-21. 6:32 left.
Apollo was still falling apart and their fake punt at midfield resulted in excellent field position for CDO again with 3:40 left.
Carey would score again, this time from 25 yards out. 49-21 1:10 left.
Apollo would have to punt again with 18.9 seconds left in the third.
Carey would take the direct snap and scamper 57 yards to score again on the next play. 56-21 End of third quarter.
Tevis intercepted Brown on his next pass and would return it to the 13. Lewis would run it in again from the one yard line. 63-21 CDO.
Apollo would score on the second and third team defense to cut the lead to 63-27 with a failed 2 point conversion and then they would pull off an onside kick.
They would add another score and 2 point conversion to make the final 63-35.
Carey would finish with 427 yards with 6 touchdowns. CDO scored an incredible 6 times in the third period.
Brown, to his credit would throw for 250 yards in the loss. That would be enough to win against any other team – but not tonight.
Tonight belonged to Southern Arizona.
“Tucson teams are for real. I’m happy for Cienega and Sabino…we are representing,” Carey.
Cienega beat Bradshaw Mountain 50-7 and Sabino beat 2 seed Cactus Shadows 63-42 in other 4A I games.
Scottsdale Saguaro is the lone Phoenix area team left.
CDO will play Cienega next Friday at Tucson High and Saguaro hosts Sabino at Paradise Valley High School.
The championship game will be at Arizona stadium on Saturday, December 5 at 6 pm. We are now guaranteed a Tucson team will be in it.
To his credit, Carey thanked his blockers and said he just followed their blocks.
Dorados coach Dustin Peace told his team that they played “devastating” football, “That’s how we do it at CDO.”
FROM THE NOTEBOOK
Former Arizona stars Ricky Hunley, Julius Holt and Randy Robbins watched the game from the end zone. Randy’s son Josh plays for CDO.
That’s big time star power for Arizona at a night when Oregon could have shown up to show interest in Carey. They did not.
CDO announcer and former Arizona tight end Bill Nettling joined Hunley, Holt and Robbins at halftime.
Apollo had 40 fans at kickoff. Their fan and band bus was late. Their stands were full by the time Carey had 200 yards.
Tevis is the real deal. He may lack size but he is one of Arizona’s best defenders.
Santa Rita beat Amphi 48-0 and will now play top seed Mingus at North Canyon High School next Friday night.
Palo Verde beat Liberty 40-17 and Douglas lost to 2 seed Cactus 70-21 on the other side of the bracket.
Palo Verde will now face Cactus at Paradise Valley High School at 3 pm next Friday.
The 4A II championship game is also at Arizona Stadium.
Sunnyside lost 34-24 to Marcos de Niza.
Willcox plays Yuma Catholic at 5 pm tonight at North Canyon High School. The winner goes to the state championship game to be played at NAU.
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Mike Lewis Touchdown Slide Show
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Carey and Lewis
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