A 27-0 second quarter - keyed by a pair of fourth-down conversions – gave Scottsdale Prep the advantage it needed in Saturday’s crucial Division V, Section IV football matchup against Valley Christian at Chaparral High School.
Down by a touchdown after the first quarter, the Spartans went on to win 62-25 and remain, along with Tempe Prep, the only two unbeatens in section play. The two clubs go head-to-head in two weeks.
Already ahead 21-13 after scoring on their first two second-quarter drives – the second after recovering an onside kick - the Spartans (6-2, 5-0) converted a fourth-and-18 with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Nick Smith to Ben McKeighan. Earlier on the drive, they were successful on fourth-and-two. On the final series of the half, on fourth-and-30, Smith hooked up with Jon Crowe on a 34-yard pass to the Valley Christian 8. On the next play, Smith and Matt Munsil connected for the second time in the end zone, extending the Scottsdale Prep lead to 34-13.
“We have a saying here in our program, ‘You’ve got four downs and you don’t have to punt,’” said Scottsdale Prep coach Will Munsil. “If we have the right matchups, I have faith in my guys. They’re taught to play without fear.”
The fast-paced Spartans offense didn’t let up. After falling behind 13-7, they scored 42 straight points, adding a pair of third-quarter touchdowns before the Trojans (4-4, 3-2) got back on the board.
Smith threw five touchdown passes and rushed for the other during the 42-0 onslaught. He finished 21-for-33 with five touchdowns and 335 yards. He rushed for 87 yards.
“We know we’re not the biggest team or the deepest team, but we’re in the best shape,” added Munsil. “(Valley Christian) is a big, talented team and we thought we could play faster. Our sideline was telling us they were getting tired and to play faster.”
Valley Christian got off to a great start. Its first play from scrimmage was an 80-yard touchdown run by Cory Kasperon. With four minutes left in the first quarter, the Trojans took a 13-7 lead on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Haagsma to Zach Wolf but it was all Spartans the remainder of the game.
“Give credit to them, they made the plays in big situations,” said Valley Christian coach Jeff Rutledge. “We didn’t tackle well or play well, fundamentally, and that’s my fault. We got out-coached. They made plays and we didn’t.”
Scottsdale Prep’s Greyson Boyll had two touchdown runs and one TD reception. He finished with 110 rushing yards on 12 carries. After knocking off an 80-yard run, Kasperson finished with 21 attempts for 164 yards and two scores.
Scottsdale Prep 62, Valley Christian 25
First Downs: VC 21, SP 24
Rushing: VC 35-170, SP 32-214
Passing (comp.-att.-Yards-TD-INT): VC 16-33-196-2-2, SP 21-33-335-5-1
Fumbles-lost: VC 3-2, SP 1-1
Penalties-yards: VC 3-30, SP 6-49
Valley Christian 13 0 0 12 -- 25
Scottsdale Prep 7 27 15 13 -- 62
VC: Kasperson 80 run (kick failed)
SP: Boyll 16 run (Speno kick)
VC: Wolf 14 pass from Haagsma (Haagsma kick)
SP: Smith 1 run (Speno kick)
SP: Munsil 39 pass from Smith (Speno kick)
SP: McKeighan 27 pass from Smith (Speno kick)
SP: Munsil 9 pass from Smith (kick blocked)
SP: McKeighan 9 pass from Smith (Munsil pass from Smith)
SP: Boyll 50 pass from Smith (Speno kick)
VC: Kasperson 1 run (pass failed)
SP: Boyll 2 run (Speno kick)
VC: Wee 11 pass from Rodrigues (pass failed)
SP: Arqueros 58 interception return (kick blocked)