Citizen Staff Writer
RAYMOND SUAREZ and GEOFF GRAMMER
GAMES IN BRIEF
Sahuaro struck early and didn’t let up against Desert View.
The Cougars scored 12 points in the opening quarter and went on to a 42-14 win in a 4A Kino Region game.
C.J. Rodriguez and Craig Samoy dominated the Jaguars with their running attack.
Rodriguez had 130 yards on 16 carries, scoring the first touchdown of the game on a 13-yard run. He scored his second rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 38-yard run.
Samoy was close behind, finishing with 124 yards on 17 carries. He also scored twice, first on a 1-yard score in the first quarter and again in the third quarter on a 21-yard run.
Desert View quarterback David Romero threw for 146 yards and two touchdowns.
Romero found Alandis Jones on a 67-yard strike and once again on a 33-yard completion.
Jones finished with 126 yards receiving.
The Cougars are 2-6 overall and 1-2 in the Kino Region while the Jaguars dropped to 2-6 and 0-3 in the region.
Fountain Hills 7, Empire 6
A failed 2-point conversion with 2:28 remaining in the game kept the Empire Ravens from pulling off the road upset in a 7-6 loss to Fountain Hills.
With the win, Fountain Hills clinches the Class 3A South Region title.
After Fountain Hills jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, the game remained scoreless until Empire’s Cody Hall caught a 64-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mito Mendivil to pull the Ravens to 7-6 with 2:28 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Empire, one of Arizona’s best running teams all season, tried to punch in the 2-point conversion for the win, but was stuffed by an unforgiving Fountain Hills defense.
“We were on the road and both defenses were playing well, so I thought I’d take a shot at the win right there rather than trying it in overtime,” said Empire coach Jorge Mendivil. “It didn’t work out for us, but if I had to do it again, I’d make the same decision.”
Empire (7-2, 4-2 in 3A South Region) had 219 yards of offense – 117 on the ground and 102 passing. Running back Albert Casella had 22 carries for 83 yards.
Empire’s Power Rankings points all but assure it will qualify for the 3A state playoffs, but a win at home over Safford in next week’s season finale would likely assure the Ravens an opening-round home game in the 16-team playoffs.
Pusch Ridge 10, Kearny Ray 2
All the scoring took place in the first half as Pusch Ridge did enough to defeat 2A South rival Kearny Ray.
The Lions improved to 6-2 overall and 6-0 in the 2A South region with a 10-2 victory.
Pusch Ridge has only allowed 15 points in its six region games this season.
“Being 6-0 is huge for us,” Pusch Ridge coach Bob Vance said. “We don’t want to be co-champs in the region.”
Chad Springelli kicked a 30- yard field in the first quarter. In the second, Pusch Ridge junior quarterback Greg Schimke connected with Daniel Vavrusa for the 25-yard score.
“It was a struggle; we’re pretty banged up,” Vance said. “The guys played with so much heart. The defense was unbelievable.”
Vance has some goals for this week’s practice heading into its last regular season game at home against Winkelman Hayden.
“Guys are trying too hard which is good,” Vance said. “Everybody is playing focused and we want to be completely healthy, emotionally and mentally.”
Flowing Wells 31, Nogales 21
The Caballeros produced quite a comeback in the fourth quarter to top the Apaches.
Flowing Wells scored 17 points in the closing quarter in its 31-21 victory in a 4A Kino matchup.
Senior Anthony Weeks caught two touchdown passes from senior quarterback Alex Zavala to seal the comeback and the win. He caught an 11-yard pass and the go ahead touchdown was a 47-yard reception.
He finished with 78 receiving yards.
Zavala threw for 149 yards on 13 for 21 passing with no interceptions. Zavala also scored a 9-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter.
Nogales senior running back Andy Garcia was stymied on the ground by the Caballero defense but he caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Keith Zuniga. He had 79 yards receiving but minus-2 yards rushing on five carries.
Flowing Wells improved to 4-4 overall and 2-1 in the Kino region. Nogales fell to 5-3 and 1-2 in the region.
Pueblo 33, Sahuarita 12
After starting the season 0-7, the Pueblo Warriors find themselves with a two-game winning streak.
The Warriors scored 21 points in the second quarter on their way to a 33-12 victory on the road.
Daniel Vallejo rushed for 102 yards on 14 carries. He scored on 13-yard and 20-yard touchdown runs, both in the second quarter.
P.J. Cook scored the third touchdown of the second quarter when he intercepted a pass thrown by Sahuarita quarterback Kody Day and returned it 28 yards.
Allonte Singfield was the bright spot for the Mustangs as he rushed for 220 yards on 27 carries. He scored two rushing touchdowns.
Sahuarita dropped to 5-3 overall while Pueblo improved to 2-7.