The Scottsdale Christian football team was an uninvited guest Friday night to the 2A Central Region party.
The Eagles ran over host Northwest Christian 36-13 to create a 3-team tie for the region title.
“We needed one like this,” said Northwest Christian coach Jeff Fox. “We really focused this offseason on playing up and winning the games that no one expects you to win.”
Scottsdale Christian, Northwest Christian and Valley Christian all went 4-1 in region play.
The Eagles (7-2) not only grabbed a piece of the region title but also left Northwest Christian with a sour taste, as it suffered its first loss of the season, finishing 8-1.
“Beating an undefeated football team like Northwest is rewarding,” Fox said. “It is kind of a nightmare defending an offense like that.”
Scottsdale Christian came out with an attitude and overpowered Northwest Christian all night as the Eagles ground game churned out 305 yards.
Jenson Cruse was Scottsdale Christian’s workhorse, rushing for 234 yards on 23 carries including two second half TD runs of 3 and 7 yards to seal the victory.
“Our kids played pretty hungry football,” Fox said.
The Eagles defense was no slouch either.
Scottsdale Christian flustered Northwest Christian’s star quarterback Nathan La Barbera into overthrows and bad decisions which led to a first quarter interception by Adam Siwek.
“I think we did a good job of containing their running game and passing attack,” Fox said.
But Siwek wasn’t done. On the ensuing drive Siwek caught a 20-yard pass from quarterback Miller Bentley to open the game’s scoring.
Matt Taylor tacked on a 30-yard field goal in the second quarter.
The only Scottsdale Christian blemish on the night was a fumbled snap on its own 6 yard line that led to a Northwest score to cut the lead to 9-7 with 4:43 left in the first half.
But Miller, who completed 3-of-9 passes for 74 yards, answered with a 2-yard run with 44.2 second left in the half and the Eagles were on their way to crashing the region party.