Coming off a loss at Tucson Catalina Foothills last week , Queen Creek used a strong defense and explosive offense to beat Higley, 42-16, in a Division III, Section I matchup at Higley.
The Bulldogs (6-1, 2-0) scored on their first four offensive possessions and ate much of the first half clock doing it. Queen Creek led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter as Higley had only had four offensive plays, one of which was a fumble on the Knights first play from scrimmage.
While Higley lost starting quarterback Eric Kump for the season in the first quarter of its loss to Williams Field last week with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the Bulldogs defense forced two fumbles in the first half, both of which led to touchdowns.
“I’m very happy with us coming over here and getting the win, Higley is a rivalry game for us, we got a good road win and it was a good test for us.” Queen Creek coach Joe Germaine said.
The second fumble was after a 30-yard pass that put Higley in Queen Creek territory for the first time in the game. he receiver only had possession of the football for a few seconds but it was ruled that possession was established.
On the opening drive of the second half the Knights got their first first down of the game, but lost their third fumble of the game a couple plays later at the their own 44-yard line. The Bulldogs again capitalized on the Higley turnover with a 25-yard touchdown run by Matt Guida (his third touchdown run of the game) and a 42-0 lead.
Guida finished the night with 17 carries for 188 yards (144 of which came in the first half) and three touchdowns. Queen Creek quarterback Carson Jones finished 12-of-16 passing for 203 yards and three touchdowns.
“We didn’t execute well, we had too many miscues in the first half," Higley coach Eddy Zubey said. "Honestly our defense in the first half played pretty well, we just have to do a better job of executing.”
After Guidas touchdown run, a running clock was instituted in the third quarter. For whatever reason at that point, the Higley offense and defense got on track. The Knights (4-3, 2-3) outscored Queen Creek 16-0 after the 7:43 mark of the third quarter.
“We came back with a rage of fury in the second half," Zubey said. "These kids don’t quit. We have a theme this year, it’s to finish strong. We talk about that a lot in the locker room. We are not 35 points worse than Queen Creek and I want our kids to know that.”
Queen Creek will host Poston Butte next week and Higley will play at Combs while looking to end its two-game skid.
“Overall I’m proud with how our defense played, I’m happy with how both of our lines controlled the game," Germaine said. "It all starts with the line of scrimmage.”