Sabino 56, Tempe 49 - East Valley Tribune: Scoreboard

Sabino 56, Tempe 49

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Posted: Saturday, November 9, 2013 1:10 am | Updated: 1:26 am, Sat Nov 9, 2013.

Behind quarterback Emanual Gant, No. 10 Tempe nearly overcame a 21-point first quarter deficit versus host No. 7 Sabino, but Sabercats' running back Zach Joseph's fifth touchdown run late proved to be too much as Sabino defeated the pesky Buffaloes, 56-49, in the opening round of the Division III State football playoffs.

After Joseph scored from four yards out with 4:53 remaining in the game to give the Sabercats a 56-42 lead, Gant came right back just like he had all night and delivered a 35-yard touchdown pass to Massiah Smith to bring Tempe to within seven points with a little over three minutes left.

Unfortunately for the Buffaloes, Sabino got the ball back and managed to run out the clock, dashing Tempe's comeback attempt and shot at a state title.

Early on in the first quarter, the Buffaloes were tied at 14 before Sabino scored 21 unanswered points thanks to two touchdown passes from Sabercats' quarterback Emilio Araiza to Matt Bushman and a 70-yard scoring run from Joseph that gave Sabino a 35-14 lead.

The Tempe defense would settle down after that, allowing only 21 points after that, while Gant would throw four of his five touchdowns in the second half to keep the Buffaloes within striking distance.

Gant finished the game with 451 yards going 23-for-39. Tempe finished the season with an overall record of 9-2.

First Downs:   S 13,  T 21

Rushing (att. yds):   S 40-305,  T 15-28

Passing (comp.-att.-Yds.-TD-INT):  S 8-15-150-2-0,  T 23-39-451-5-1

Fumbles-lost:  S 2-0,  T 1-0

Penalties-yards: S 5-40,  T 6-55

Tempe         14  14  14  7  --  49

Sabino         35  7  7  7  --  56

S:  Joseph 37 run (Kick good)

T:  Watkins 17 pass from Gant (Hernandez kick)

S:  Turner 80 KO Ret (kick good)

T:  Johnson 5 run (Hernandez kick)

S: Bushman 27 pass from Araiza (kick good)

S:  Bushman 40 pass Araiza (kick good)

S:  Joseph 70 run (kick good)

T: Whitmore 1 run (Hernandez kick)

S: Joseph 2 run (kick good)

T: Smith 24 pass from Gant (Hernandez kick)

S: Joseph 4 run (kick good)

T: Watkins 48 pass from Gant (Hernandez kick)

T: Gomez 4 pass from Gant (Hernandez kick)

S: Joseph 4 run (kick good)

T: Smith 35 pass from Gant (Hernandez kick)

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]