The Tempe Buffaloes saw their first playoff trip since 2001 end in disappointment as the Phoenix Greenway Demons eliminated them 35-13 in Friday night’s Class 4A-II first-round matchup at Greenway.
Tempe (5-6) fell behind early when quarterback Zach Guizar was picked off by Greenway lineman Sajed Shubair. Shubair ran it 55 yards for the first touchdown just two minutes into the game.
Greenway (9-2) scored touchdowns on both of its second-quarter possessions. Chase Harpole plowed from 5 yards out and quarterback Greg Walton ran in a two-point conversion to make it 14-0.
The Demons went up three touchdowns when Walton burrowed across the goal line from 1 yard out with 33 seconds left in the first half. That was the finishing play of a 12-play, 90-yard drive that chewed up nearly six minutes of clock.
“We made some mistakes early and that’s a lack of (playoff) experience,” Tempe coach John Rodriguez said. “Greenway’s a veteran program in the playoffs.”
The Buffaloes started to show signs of life early in the third quarter when Guizar found O’Shea Primous on an 84-yard touchdown pass to get the Buffaloes on the board, trailing 21-7 with 9:28 left in the third quarter.
The Demons pushed it back to a three-touchdown cushion when Walton found Corbin Jones, who took it 33 yards for a score with 4:11 left in the third quarter.
Tempe had an excellent chance to get back in the game when they had first-and-goal from the Demons’ 4-yard line. The Buffaloes tried to score on four straight running plays, but the Demon defense held.
“It was a huge deflator,” Rodriguez said.
“You should be able to run the football down there four times and get into the end zone. They made plays and we didn’t.”