yards and nine touchdowns on the season, had to be helped off the field and did not return.
In his place stepped backup quarterback Mason Duros, who went on to complete just 3 of 13 attempts for 23 yards — with four interceptions, including two by YC’s Randal Voutt that were returned for touchdowns.
Arbizo, by comparison, attempted just 31 passes all season — showing just how much Safford’s offensive strategy changed following his injury.
“It hurt them a lot,” Stallworth acknowledged. “They just wanted to run the football, so it definitely affected them quite a bit, which allowed us to pin our ears back and do some other stuff.”
“It definitely was a tough loss for them, a bad injury,” Henderson added. “But I think it really helped us in our head and on the field.”
Safford still managed 299 yards of rushing offense, thanks in large part to Scrivner (27 car., 177 yards). But it hardly mattered considering what YC’s offense did.
Reese was actually also intercepted on his second pass of the night, and completed just one of his first seven attempts, but couldn’t be stopped after that.
“I had to get them out of the way,” Reese joked of the interceptions. “No, but I was just not 100 percent focused, throwing off my back foot, not getting my drop, doing what the coaches told me not to do.”
“If anyone can bounce back from that, it’s him,” Henderson said. “And he did great.”
Reese hit sophomore Jonah Leon for a 31-yard score early in the second quarter, Henderson for scores of 28 and 70 yards in the third quarter and 58 yards in the fourth, and senior Isaac Torres for a 32-yard score early in the fourth.
“It’s the first time (reaching the semis) for anyone on this team,” Reese said. “The coaches obviously experience with that, but for the players.
“But it’s not over. You can’t really dwell on that too much.”
YUMA CATHOLIC SENIOR linebacker Audie Ethington tackles Safford sophomore running back C.J. Scrivner during the Shamrocks’ 65-28 win on Friday night at Ricky Gwynn Stadium. YC now moves on to the semifinals next Saturday in Phoenix against Sabino.