Marcos de Niza just didn’t want to quit Friday night. The Padres converted a fourth-down pass play from David Viel to Ben Matuz for 23 yards with 35.8 seconds left and held on to shock Westview 35-33 in 5A Division II action in Avondale.
“We didn’t give up. We were lucky to have the ball at the end,” Marcos coach Ray Lopez said after his Padres improved to 3-0. “The boys just kept fighting and whoever had the ball last would win.”
The Padres, ranked No. 3 in 5A-II, had surrendered a 5-yard rushing touchdown to Nate Jones with 2:32 left, but Aaron Dixon returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards to set up the game-winning score. Viel earned one first down with a 15-yard pass to Harrison Evans and then three plays later found Matuz in the slot on a streak.
“It wasn’t one of our best offensive or defensive performances,” Lopez said. “I am sure we will see each other in the future.”
Marcos built a 14-0 lead in the second quarter and led 14-6 at halftime.
Westview, the fourthranked team in 5A-II, struck first in the second half on a 13-yard touchdown run by Jones. The score was set up on a bad snap on a punt attempt by Marcos.
The Padres answered on their next series on an 80-yard touchdown run by Evans, who finished the game with 147 yards rushing and one touchdown on 10 carries. He also caught three passes for 71 yards and one score.
Viel finished 9-for-14 for 186 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Matuz had two receiving touchdowns, including the game winner.