Nico Bayless’ two-yard rushing touchdown with under a minute to go in the game propelled No. 6 Apollo to a 24-20 win over No. 11 Horizon, Friday, in the first round of the Division II football playoffs.
After Bayless scored from 19 yards out with about 10 minutes left in the game to put the Hawks up 16-7, Huskies running back, Charlie Quinn, punched in a touchdown from two yards out to cut the deficit to 17-14.
Horizon’s defense couldn’t come up with a stop when it needed it, though, as Apollo took over with about five minutes to go and marched down the field, capped by Bayless’ second touchdown of the night.
Huskies’ quarterback Dalton Sneed hit receiver Jason McLaurin for a 51-yard score with just seconds to go, but it was too little, too late at that point for Horizon.
The Huskies scored the first points of the game in the second quarter when McLaurin ran 13 yards for his first of two touchdowns on the night to give Horizon a 7-0 lead early.
From there, the Hawks would then score 10 unanswered points, first scoring on a Jordan Gungl to Justin Bishop one-yard touchdown pass just before halftime to tie the game, and then on a 16-yard field goal from kicker Rodrigo Hernandez to give them the lead.
With the win, Apollo (10-1) extended its winning streak to seven games and will now travel to face No. 3 Tucson Ironwood Ridge next Friday night.
The Huskies finished the season with an 8-3 overall record in Doug Shaffer's return to varsity coaching with the program after years of being the freshman coach.
No. 2 Marcos de Niza 49, No. 15 Betty Fairfax 9: The Padres (10-1) rolled to victory and into the second round, dismissing the Stampede(8-3) rather easily. Things will get tougher for Marcos de Niza as they host surging No. 7 Chaparral at 7 p.m. next Friday. The Padres beat Chaparral, 29-27, on a game-winning touchdown run for the final play of the game.
No. 2 Queen Creek 63, No. 15 Agua Fria 27: From start to finish, the undefeated Bulldogs (11-0) ran wild on the visiting Owls (7-4), racking up 438 rushing yards on 37 carries. Matt Guida led the charge, carrying the ball 12 times for 184 yards and three touchdowns. Running mate Marcus Still rushed for 132 yards and two scores on only six carries, as Queen Creek tallied 546 yards of offense. Defensively, Mike Graff returned an interception 91 yards for the score, his ninth pick of the season. The Bulldogs will host No. 10 Thunderbird in the quarterfinals next Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 3 Seton Catholic 61, No. 14 Chinle 0: The Sentinels (10-1) were efficient in all phases of their blowout home victory over the Wildcats (5-5). Three of quarterback Ryan Bresnahan’s six completions went for touchdowns, two of wide receiver Daniel Garlid’s five receptions were touchdowns and two of quarterback David Gesicki’s carries went for scores. Bresnahan finished with 163 yards passing, while leading the team with 81 yards and a touchdown on four carries. Garlid totaled 148 yards receiving on the night. Seton Catholic will play No. 6 Cottonwood Mingus next Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at location TBD.
No. 4 Scottsdale Christian 55, No. 13 Pinon 0: Led by quarterback Luke O’ Neill, Scottsdale Christian (9-1) made quick work of Pinon (8-3), jumping out to a huge lead early and never looking back. O’ Neill passed for 98 yards and three touchdowns, while completing six of his eight attempts. Teammate Zechariah Gatling rushed for two scores, finishing with 90 yards on six attempts. Senior receiver, Chaz Dudley, led the team with two catches for 48 yards and two touchdowns. Scottsdale Christian will take on No. 5 Yuma Catholic in the quarterfinals next Saturday at 3 p.m. at Williams Field High School.
No. 3 Tempe Prep 14, No. 14 Round Valley 0: Forest Redlin made huge plays on both sides of the ball. He finished with 84 yards and a touchdown on 4-for-9 passing, while also grabbing an interception on defense to lead the host Knights (9-2) in their first-round victory. Redlin gave Tempe Prep a 7-0 lead in the second quarter when he found Gaspar Tonnesen for a 30-yard touchdown. Senior running back Ahmari Underwood’s 41-yard scoring run in the third quarter put the Knights up 14-0 and put the game away for good. Underwood finished the night with 77 yards on 15 carries. Tempe Prep moves on to face No. 6 Thatcher next Saturday at Higley High School at 3 p.m.
Tempe Prep 14, Round Valley 0
Round Valley 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Tempe Prep 0 7 7 0 -- 14
Rushing: TP 39-142
Passing: TP 4-10-84
Penalties: TP 5-50
Fumbles/lost: TP 2-1
TP –Tonnesen 30 pass from Redlin (Wiese kick)
TP – Underwood 41 run (Wiese kick)
Apollo 24, Horizon 20
Horizon 0 7 0 13 -- 20
Apollo 0 7 3 14 -- 24
H - McLaurin 13 run (McAtamney kick)
A - Bishop 1 pass from Gungl (Hernandez kick)
A - Hernandez 16 FG
A - Bayless 19 run (Hernandez kick)
H - Quinn 2 run (McAtamney kick)
A- Bayless 2 run TD (Hernandez kick)
H – McLaurin 51 pass from Sneed (kick fail)
Queen Creek 63, Agua Fria 27
Agua Fria 0 0 14 13 -- 27
Queen Creek 21 14 14 14 -- 63
First Downs: AF 22, QC 16
Rushing: QC 31-438
Passing: QC 6-14-108
Penalties: QC 9-86
Fumbles/lost: AF 1-1 QC 1-0
Seton Catholic 61, Chinle 0
Chinle 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Seton 14 41 6 0 -- 61
Rushing: SC 17-173
Passing: SC 13-17-236-1
Scottsdale Christian 55, Pinon 0
Pinon 0 0 0 0 -- 0
SCA 29 7 7 12 -- 55
Rushing: SC 28-216
Passing: SC 7-11-102-1