Citizen Staff Writer
SANTA RITA 28 PHX. WASHINGTON 20
A brisk November night brought a messy game to Santa Rita High School, but the Eagles defeated visiting Phoenix Washington 28-20 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Class 4A-II state playoffs.
The game featured a combined nine turnovers and 137 yards of penalties.
“All playoff wins are good wins. That was just an ugly one,” Santa Rita head coach Jeff Scurran said after borrowing a band members drum and joining the band in a playing of the Eagles’ fight song.
The No. 6-seeded Eagles will travel to face No. 3 Palo Verde on Friday. The Titans handed Santa Rita its only loss of the season, 21-14 on Oct. 31.
In Friday’s third quarter, all but one of six possessions from either team ended in a turnover. The exception: Washington turned the ball over on downs.
Scurran chalked up the sloppy game to playoff jitters.
“We’re a very young team,” Scurran said. “We just couldn’t do a good job of protecting the ball.”
Santa Rita started the scoring in the first quarter with a 2-yard run from Chris Correa.
Correa added another TD in the second quarter and finished the night with 102 yards on 12 carries. He did not play in the second half because of an ankle injury.
Eagles receiver J.J. Holliday ended with just 45 yards on four catches, but his longest, a 31-yard catch, led to a 5-yard TD run by Greg Jones. Quarterback Ian Garlets ran for 20 yards and a score and threw for 53 yards with an interception.
Santa Rita held Washington to 57 yards rushing, but quarterback Daniel Gamez threw for 301 yards and three TDs. He had three interceptions, however.
Washington receiver Trevor Johnson torched Santa Rita’s secondary for 143 yards and a score. Alex Holberg added 35 yards and two receiving TDs for the Rams, who finished 5-6.