Tempe Marcos de Niza held a comfortable lead late in the second quarter Friday night.
But the Padres had no plans to take it easy.
Marcos blew open the game, scoring 17 points in the final three minutes of the half on the way to a 44-14 victory over Glendale Deer Valley (5-6) Friday in the first round of the 5A-II football state playoffs at Marcos.
“This is the first step of a journey,’’ Marcos coach Roy Lopez said. “It’s a different level. It’s a higher level.”
Marcos’ Ramon Abreu ran for 112 yards, scored two touchdowns, caught a 50-yard pass and intercepted a pass. The Padres (10-1) had 256 yards passing, 196 from starter Zach Schira, who finished with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Marcos held Deer Valley to 36 yards on the ground.
“They’re a great team,’’ Deer Valley coach Sven Christianson said. “Offensively, defensively — we just didn’t have any answers.”
Abreu rolled up 92 yards in three carries in the first quarter, scoring on runs of 11 and 61 yards.
Ahead 21-7, the Padres started their surge late in the second quarter on Dominic Sotelo’s 4-yard TD run. The Padres forced a punt and scored on a 55-yard pass play from Schira to Tevin Newell. Then, Donovan Henley intercepted a pass near midfield and returned it to the 11, setting up a field goal by Eric Rodriguez right before the half.