Queen Creek came into Friday night's Division III first-round playoff game averaging 32 points per game in nine regular-season wins.
In a battle of the "Bulldogs", Queen Creek Bulldogs scored just enough in a 12-7 victory. No. 4 Queen Creek will host No. 5 Saguaro in a quarterfinal game next Thursday.
"It was a struggle for us from the beginning," Queen Creek coach Joe Germaine said. "The weather was a big thing for us with that heavy wind, but I couldn't be more impressed with that Douglas team. You talk about a group of kids that wanted it and just played hard. Our kids played hard too but we just needed to play smarter. We had some penalties at bad times."
The biggest completion was on a 39-yard touchdown pass by Carson Jones to Gabe Vazquez, the final touchdown of the game that gave Queen Creek its first lead of the game on the third play of the third quarter.
Most of the rest of the third quarter was played at around the Douglas 35-yard line, as neither team was willing to punt and both defenses kept getting stops on fourth down. Both teams did pretty well in the run game but the two teams were a combined 6 of 21 through the air.
Queen Creek eventually put the game away behind the strong running of Marcus Still. Still finished the game with 16 carries for 103 yards, including a 45-yard run on Queen Creek's final drive to run out the clock.
Still got all the carries on the final drive instead of Matt Guida, the team's sophomore standout most of the season.
"Marcus sparked us and had some great runs, but the great thing about that was to see Matt Guida as the first one out there to congratulate him." Germaine said.
Queen Creek (10-1) finished with four penalties for 35 yards, a couple of which came in the first quarter that hurt not only Queen Creek's drives but also helped Douglas march down the field.
Douglas scored its only touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run by Jason Sanez.
Queen Creek trailed Douglas 7-6 at halftime after a missed two-point conversion following a 10-yard touchdown run by Still. Germaine said the wind did not play a part in the decision to go for the conversion.
"It's just a play that our PAT team has, and they saw a certain look and decided to go for it," he said. "In hindsight that might have ended up hurting us a little bit."
Guida finished the night with 18 carries for 60 yards, but did have a fumble on Queen Creek's previous drive. Fortunately for Guida and Queen Creek, the defense got a fourth-down stop on its own 15-yard line to end the Douglas threat.