Chaparral holds off upset-minded North Canyon - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Chaparral holds off upset-minded North Canyon

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Posted: Thursday, October 29, 2009 11:35 pm | Updated: 1:02 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Scottsdale Chaparral remained unbeaten, clinching the 5A Desert Valley Region title in the process, but it wasn’t without a fight from Phoenix North Canyon, a team winless in league play.

The outcome wasn’t a surprise. The struggle was.

Scottsdale Chaparral remained unbeaten, clinching the 5A Desert Valley Region title in the process, but it wasn’t without a fight from Phoenix North Canyon, a team winless in league play.

The Firebirds won 24-19, coming back from a 13-0 deficit and then holding off the upset-minded Rattlers on the home team’s final offensive drive.

“Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and tonight we were lucky, but we’re 2009 region champs,” said Firebirds head coach Charlie Ragle, who gave due credit to Rattlers coach Brian Cole and his team.

Chaparral (9-0, 4-0) scored three second-quarter touchdowns, two on runs (35 yards and 20 yards) by senior running back Dwayne Garrett, who rushed for 146 yards in his seventh 100-yard game of the season.

Late in the fourth quarter, Garrett had rushed for what appeared to be a game-clinching first down, but the talented runner fumbled the football and North Canyon’s Justin D’Angelico recovered on the Rattlers 24-yard line.

North Canyon got to the Chaparral 39 before turning the ball over on downs with only 28 seconds left.

“I was surprised,” admitted Ragle of the close call. “I think we saw two emotional football teams. They’ve been through a lot the last couple of weeks and to come out like they did, I give a lot of credit to Brian and his kids.”

With a slim 14-13 lead, Chaparral added some insurance late in the second quarter when sophomore quarterback Connor Brewer connected with Danny Trittler on a 22-yard TD pass with just 13 seconds left in the half.

Ben Damari added a 40-yard field goal and it appeared the Firebirds were in the driver’s seat, 24-13, midway through the third quarter.

The Rattlers, though, weren’t done yet. For the second time, junior quarterback Dominic Portocarrero threw a touchdown pass to Ryan Trujillo. This one was for 68 yards with 3:31 left in the third quarter.

North Canyon had jumped out to a 13-0 lead after intercepting two Brewer passes.

Portocarrero connected with Trujillo on a 48-yard score less than two minutes into the first quarter. At the 6:13 mark of the quarter, Portocarrero scored on a fourth-and-goal play from the 1.

“Tonight, we were undisciplined,” said Chaparral senior running back Cole Tyree, who rushed for 98 yards on just 13 carries. “I don’t know, I think we were just undisciplined.”

Chaparral senior defensive back Joe Zurek had two interceptions to help hold off the upset-minded Rattlers.

The 24 points were the second fewest scored by the Firebirds this season (they beat Mesquite 17-6). The 19 points were the most given up this season.

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