September 4, 2004
In a series that has historically been close, Tempe dominated crosstown rival McClintock, 38-14, Friday night in the season opener for both teams at Tempe’s Bruce Harper Stadium.
After not managing any points on their second possession, the Buffaloes (1-0) punted and pinned the Chargers deep in their own territory. On the first play of the drive, halfback Mark Meadows was hit at the line of scrimmage and fumbled the ball. Tempe’s Eric Matthews picked it up and raced in from nine yards out for the opening score of the game.
The Chargers (0-1) got right back in the game when Xavier Lucas returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was missed and Tempe led 7-6.
Late in the first quarter, McClintock was once again deep in its own territory with a fourth-and-10 situation. The Chargers didn’t get off a very effective punt and gave the Buffaloes the ball at the 27-yard line. Tempe quarterback Branden Robinson hit wideout Jordan Cooks for a 25-yard gain down to the Chargers’ 2. On the next play, Dorrell Bradford punched it in to extend the Buffaloes’ lead.
Tempe’s next score was set up by the defense. The Chargers were finally moving the ball, working their way up to their own 40. However, the drive was stalled when quarterback Gavin Memusu was picked off by Jeremy Egboro, who returned it all the way to McClintock’s 12. On second down, Robinson hit a wide open Damir Hadzic for a 16-yard touchdown strike.
The Tempe defense held and forced the Chargers to punt, giving the Buffaloes good field position again, at the McClintock 37. Four plays later, Dwight Pete scored from four yards out, putting the Buffs up 28-6.
The Buffaloes helped out the Chargers late in the first half when on a punt play, the snap flew over the punter’s head and into the end zone. A Tempe player was able to land on it giving the Chargers a safety.
The Chargers’ best drive of the night came late in the third quarter. Starting at their own 19, McClintock went on a 12-play, 81-yard drive. On the drive, Memusu hit Lucas over the middle for a 33-yard gain. Ivan Oakry punched it in from two yards out on the next play.
The Tempe defense then took over, holding McClintock to only three yards of offense the rest of the way. The Buffaloes were able to add another Pete touchdown and a 23-yard field goal from Veda Kettigna to put the Chargers away. Pete finished the night with 123 yards rushing on 19 carries. He also had two touchdowns, one on the ground and one on a 32-yard reception.
McClintock’s Lucas led his team with three catches for 42 yards.