Bears’ fumbles costly - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Bears’ fumbles costly

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Posted: Friday, September 9, 2005 11:26 pm | Updated: 9:50 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Phoenix North Canyon survived a furious fourth-quarter onslaught Friday to hold off visiting Basha 28-21 in a 5A non-region game.

The Rattlers had jumped out to a 28-7 lead thanks to Bear fumbles in the finals seconds of the first half and the first minute of the second.

North Canyon's Anthony Llanos returned a Shane McBurney fumble 69 yards as time expired in the second quarter. Danny Keenan then fumbled on the second play of the second half and Mekyell Harrell ran 27 yards on the next play for the huge North Canyon (2-0) lead.

“That’s football,” Basha coach Tim McBurney said. “You have to be able to protect the ball.”

The Bears’ defense sparked the fourth-quarter comeback by holding the Rattlers to minus-3 total yards in three series. McBurney’s 16-yard scramble keyed the first score, then he connected with Matt Hibbert on a 44-yard strike. But a penalty on a punt return followed by an offensive pass interference killed Basha’s final possession.

North Canyon had its own miscues. A fumbled punt return set up a 3-yard McBurney pass to Tony Craft for a 7-0 Bears lead in the first quarter.

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