Citizen Staff Writer
CIENEGA 31 APACHE JUNCTION 7
Cienega’s playoff M.O. for two of the last three years has been this: Win in the first round, lose to Scottsdale Chaparral the next week. The Bobcats get a chance to change that trend next week – or keep it going.
No. 7 seed Cienega toppled Apache Junction 31-7 Friday night in the first round of the 4A-I state playoffs, setting up another second-round showdown with Chaparral.
“I schedule a tough schedule even in a nonleague (game). We’re still fairly new and I think the only way you’re going to get over that hump is keep playing them,” Cienega coach Nemer Hassey said about playing Chaparral.
The Bobcats (9-2) lost 23-20 on the last play earlier this year to Chaparral and in overtime 34-27 last year. The No. 2 Firebirds blew out Cienega in the playoffs 52-14 in 2005 and 44-12 in 2006.
“The last time we played them it was a good game and hopefully this year will be a good game,” said Trent Simon, who broke a school record by catching 10 passes for 201 yards against Apache Junction.
The Bobcats were led Friday by quarterback Seth Mejias-Brean. The senior completed 16 of 26 passes for 254 yards and two TDs. He also ran seven times for 166 yards and two scores. Simon caught both touchdown passes.