Tempe High finally took the monkey off its back.
Having lost the last 15 games dating back to last season, the Buffaloes returned an interception for a touchdown, as well as a fumble, and held host-Apache Junction to minus-16 yards rushing as Tempe held on for a long-awaited 30-22 victory on Friday.
Ahead 17-14 to start the third quarter after a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown by Salvador Sanchez and a 50-yard fumble recovery by Martin Castillo in the first half, running back Clayton Kelly punched the ball in from three yards early in the third quarter to give Tempe (1-6) a 23-14 lead.
After the Buffaloes scored again to make it 30-14 with 48 seconds left in the third quarter, Prospectors quarterback Brett Darling hit Branden Edwards for a 16-yard scoring strike and a two-point conversion to make it 30-22.
But even with 5:22 left in the game, it was too little, too late for Apache Junction (1-5).
Kelly led the Buffaloes with 86 yards on 20 carries. Sanchez, Tempe’s place kicker, also made good on a 32-yard field goal in the first half to put Tempe up 17-6.
Tempe was up 14-0 with 5:09 to play in the first until the Prospectors’ Jared Kraps returned a kickoff 90 yards for the score to make it 14-6.
Kraps scored again right before halftime on a 70-yard pass from Darling to cut Tempe’s lead down to 17-14.
The Buffaloes will try and put together a two-game winning streak when they host Campo Verde next Thursday, while Apache Junction travels to Williams Field.
Poston Butte 51, Coolidge 6: Poston Butte tallied 504 yards on its way to a dominating win over the Bears. The Broncos (6-0) scored early and often, jumping out to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter, while the only points the defense allowed came in the second quarter. With the loss, Coolidge dropped to 4-2 on the year. Poston Butte will look to stay undefeated when it hosts Perry next Thursday.
San Tan Foothills 46, Valley Christian 27: San Tan Foothills rushed for 370 yards on 33 carries as the Sabercats ran all over host-Valley Christian. San Tan jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter highlighted by an 82-yard touchdown pass from Mychael Bruce to Julian Naverrette and a 51-yard scoring run by Carlos Melendez. Melendez finished the game with 205 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. Bruce was 6-for-6 passing for 164 yards and two scores. The Sabercats will visit Santa Cruz next Friday night, while the Trojans look to rebound on the road versus Phoenix Christian.
Fountain Hills 33, Coronado 6: Fountain Hills’ Steve Hubick threw for a touchdown and returned an interception for another to lead the Hawks to the victory. After the Dons’ Tyler Johnson cut Fountain Hills’ third quarter lead to 24-6 with a 44-yard run, Hubick found Tyler Braun for a 44-yard touchdown of his own that pushed the score to 30-6 and put the game out of the Dons' reach. Hubick put Coronado in a hole early when he picked off Dons quarterback Reid Blakey in the second quarter and ran it in from 2 yards out to give the Hawks a 17-0 lead. The loss dropped Coronado to 3-3 on the season, while Fountain Hills improved to 4-3 overall. The Dons will look to get back on track when they travel to play Maricopa next Thursday.