Tempe may have lost more than just a game Friday night. The Buffaloes’ postseason aspirations took a big hit with a stunning 40-26 loss to host El Mirage Dysart in 4A-II non-region action.
The defeat extended Tempe’s losing streak to four games and dropped the Buffaloes from the top 13 in the power rankings. Tempe (3-5) will likely need victories in its final two 4A East Sky Region games to make the playoffs.
Quarterback Zach Guizar had two, 1-yard touchdown runs to give the Buffaloes a 12-6 lead with 11:19 remaining in the second quarter, but that would be the last time Tempe had the lead.
Dysart (5-4) would score on its next possession and add two more scores, including a 65-yard fumble recovery for a TD, to go into the intermission ahead 27-12.
Following a scoreless third quarter, Dysart added a touchdown pass from 25 yards out to go up 34-12 with 9:23 remaining.
The Buffaloes attempted a late rally when Guizar found Demarco Jordan for a 49-yard touchdown pass and O’Shea Primous crashed in from 1 yard out with 2:30 remaining to cut the Demons lead to eight, 34-26.
However, the rally stalled when Dysart recovered the onside kick and three plays later broke a 27-yard touchdown run to seal the victory.
The Buffaloes were sloppy with the ball all night. Tempe fumbled the ball five times, losing it twice, and Guizar threw two interceptions and completed 5-of-13 passes for 112 yards.
Jo Rittenhouse led the Buffaloes in rushing with 61 yards on 11 carries.
The Tempe defense had to two takeaways in the second quarter, as John Bautch recovered a fumble and Jordan intercepted a pass.