Queen Creek forces four turnovers to beat Williams Field - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Queen Creek forces four turnovers to beat Williams Field

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Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011 12:27 am | Updated: 4:01 pm, Wed Dec 3, 2014.

A stout defense against a powerful offense, big plays, momentum shifts, packed stands, a prize up for grabs and a wild finish.

It sure felt like playoff football came a week early in the season finale showdown against No. 7 Queen Creek and No. 3 Williams Field.

With home field advantage through the first two rounds on the line, the Bulldogs (9-1, 4-0) came up with one more big play than the Black Hawks (8-2, 6-1) to come up with a 22-20 victory on the road Friday.

Luis Moreno picked off Williams Field quarterback Garrett Forsgren with less than 14 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Moreno's clinching play kept the Bulldogs at a No. 4 seed in the Division III state tournament, where it will play No. 13 Douglas in the first round.

"We really don't pay much attention to that stuff," Queen Creek coach Joe Germaine said. "We just want our team to get better and hopefully we're taking steps toward that."

The interception summed up Williams Field's game pretty well. The Black Hawks turned the ball over four times; three times via fumbles.

The Black Hawks' inability to hold onto the ball at key moments of the game cost them a shot to win the game.

Williams Field looked to be driving for the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter when Ced Gloria coughed up and lost the ball on the Queen Creek 20-yard line.

The Bulldogs turned two of the recovered fumbles into 10 points.

Despite the costly turnovers, Williams Field coach Steve Campbell said he'd do little to bring it up in the week leading up to the first round of the playoffs.

"You start overanalyzing stuff like that and next thing you know it's in the mind," Williams Field coach Steve Campbell said. "If you start going crazy with it after you've had some, it just puts it on the mind in a negative manner."

Williams Field running back Alex Howard did his best to give his team a chance to win, but he also cost the team some major momentum.

Howard rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown and ran back a kickoff return 90 yards for a touchdown, but he also fumbled three times. The Bulldogs recovered two of Howard's fumbles.

"Our defense just played an awesome game," Germaine said. "Our focus was seeing if there was a chance to limit the big plays. They got a couple of those with Howard...but for the most part we held them a little bit."

On the other side of the ball, Queen Creek's Matt Guida may not have had any long touchdown runs like Howard, but he protected the ball and ate up a lot of clock in the second half with runs of 3 and 4 yards.

"Matt Guida is a great ballplayer," Germaine said. "Not every plays is going to be a big one. You love those, but those four-yard gains are critical. It keeps the drives alive and if we can have those it'd be huge."

Guida finished with 135 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. He also had a 33-yard touchdown catch.

Williams Field will host a first-round playoff game against No. 9 Phoenix Thunderbird in a rematch of last year's 4A-II title game, which Thunderbird won.

"With the new alignment there's not an easy game in there," said Campbell, before he knew who he was playing. "There should be relatively close games from top to bottom."

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]