YC routs Safford, advances to state football semis
J.R. Henderson finished his postgame interview and turned to fellow Yuma Catholic senior Ryan Kircher. “We going!” he shouted. “We going to the semis, baby!” Kircher shouted back.
After three straight quarterfinal exits, the Shamrocks are back in the 3A state semifinals.
No. 2 YC overcame a slow start Friday night at Ricky Gwynn Stadium, exploding for 39 unanswered points during one stretch en route to a 65-28 victory over No. 10 Safford in the 3A state quarterfinals.
With the win, the Shamrocks (10-2 overall) move on to face No. 6 Sabino (102) in the semifinals next Saturday night at Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix.
“It’s great to finally get that much closer to the goal we want,” Henderson said. “We’ve been put in great positions by our coaches to get here, and we just had to execute.”
YC didn’t execute early on against Safford (7-5), surrendering the game’s first two touchdowns to fall into
YC 65 Safford 28
a 14-0 first-quarter hole.
But from there, junior quarterback Gage Reese and Co. found their groove as the Shamrocks went on to compile 545 yards of total offense on the night.
Reese (14 of 25) threw for 384 yards and five touchdowns, including three to Henderson (6 rec.), who finished with 250 yards receiving to bring his career total to 3,505 yards — a new 3A state record.
Junior running back Ean Chavez rushed 12 times for 126 yards and three touchdowns, two of which came in the first half to help YC turn its early deficit into a 25-14 halftime lead.
“Just get everybody back on track,” coach Rhett Stallworth said of what was going through his mind early on. “Just a bunch of fluke factors going on and this and that. We needed to just rectify little dumb stuff. I never thought we were out of it, obviously.”
It was Safford that caught the game’s toughest break early, though.
After the Bulldogs marched 83 yards in six plays on the game’s opening drive — capped by a 44yard touchdown run by CJ Scrivner — and then intercepted Reese’s first pass attempt of the night, Safford quarterback Jerick Arbizo was tackled awkwardly on the first play of the Bulldogs’ second drive.
Arbizo, who entered the evening with 753 rushing
YUMA CATHOLIC SENIOR linebacker Randal Voutt scores on an interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter of Friday night’s 65-28 win over Safford at Ricky Gwynn Stadium. Voutt returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the game.
YUMA CATHOLIC JUNIOR running back Ean Chavez lowers his shoulder as he tries to run over Safford cornerback Bryant Montoya in the second quarter of a 65-28 win Friday night at Ricky Gwynn Stadium.