With both Tempe McClintock and Tempe High coming into Friday undefeated, this year’s edition of their crosstown rivalry game was set up to be a classic.
It didn’t come close to playing out that way.
The Chargers’ superior size and speed overwhelmed the Buffaloes all night, and McClintock rolled to a 35-7 victory in front of a packed house at Bruce Harper Stadium.
“Our size wore them down,” Chargers fullback Donte Reid said. “They were big on the offensive line and defensive line, but they were slow and slow off the ball. We took advantage.”
The Chargers, who are 3-0 for the first time since 2005, outgained the Buffaloes 440-135 and got 226 yards of total offense from quarterback Eric Urry.
“Eric Urry provides two things,” coach Mike Gibbons said. “He can throw the ball very well, and his feet keep people on their toes because he can scramble at any time. It’s a great double threat.”
Urry did most of his damage in the first two quarters. After that McClintock turned to the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Reid, who had gained only 1 yard on two carries coming into the night. The junior, who moved to Tempe in the offseason after playing last year at Mesa Dobson, racked up 61 hard-fought yards on eight carries and found the end zone twice.
“Coach told me after halftime I was going to get some carries,” said Reid, who didn’t touch the ball in the first half. “I told him, I’ll do what I can to get into the end zone.”
Reid’s first touchdown came from 12 yards out, and his second was on a 5-yard run.
“He’s new to our program, and he earned his stripes tonight,” Gibbons said. “It was good to lather him up and run him between the tackles and provide us with a different kind of threat.”
The Chargers scored on five of their nine possessions and could have added more points to the scoreboard. However, they took a knee four times after reaching Tempe’s 4-yard line with just over a minute left in the game.
McClintock’s superiority was evident early when it drove 98 yards on its second possession to take a 14-0 lead.
After the Chargers went ahead 21-0 late in the second quarter on a 30-yard pass from Urry to Auston Johnson, the Buffaloes (2-1) answered with their only score of the night.
Running back Josh McDowell’s 62-yard run cut the deficit to 21-7 with 1:22 remaining before halftime.
Tempe didn’t gain another first down the rest of the game.