Tempe dispatched Seton Catholic 27-15 at Bruce Harper Field Friday nights in a solid all-around performance.
After struggling to a 7-6 lead through a quarter of play, Tempe put its stamp on the game in the second and seized momentum with two big scoring plays in the quarter.
Trailing 9-7, senior quarterback Damian Triana found senior receiver DeAndre Hughes in the back corner of the end zone to retake the lead.
Just a few minutes later, senior running back Donnell Card scampered 37 yards for a score and a two-possession lead going into the locker rooms.
At the end of the half, trailing 21-9, the Sentinels mounted a drive that put them inside the red zone with under a minute left.
That’s when senior defensive end My-King Johnson took matters into his own hands. Johnson sacked quarterback Forrest Sweet three times in a row, knocking Seton Catholic out of scoring range and knocking Sweet out of the game.
While Tempe coach Brian Walker praised his star pass rusher, he was quick to give credit to the rest of the Tempe front-seven that held Seton Catholic to 15 total rushing yards on the night.
“My-King’s a big-time player and that’s why there’s a lot of schools looking at him right now,” Walker said. “He also has the help of three guys on the defensive line and a good linebacking corps.”
It didn’t take long into the second half for Tempe to move into total control, stripping sophomore quarterback Vincent Wallace on the first play of the half inside Seton Catholic territory.
A few plays later, the Buffaloes kicked a field goal, putting them in cruise control and essentially putting the game on ice.
Despite the win, Walker wasn’t overly happy with Tempe’s performance, citing some defensive lapses he’d like to get fixed.
“We gave up a lot of big plays that we shouldn’t be giving up this time of year,” Walker said. “Outside of those things, I felt like they played a better game than they have been playing.”
Those big plays showed on the stat sheet, as the Sentinels and Buffaloes finished with the same yardage total, despite Seton Catholic being consistently driven backwards by the pass rush of Tempe.
In the end, the Buffaloes are back to .500 with just two weeks left in the season, and there’s still room for improvement according to their coach.
“I’m happy that the boys got a win,” Walker said. “But we still need to get better.”
* Tonis is journalism student at ASU and intern at the Tribune
Tempe 27, Seton Catholic 15
SC 6 3 6 0 – 15
Tempe 7 14 3 3 – 27
Tempe – Hughes 3-yard run (Ibarra kick), 7:16
SC – Wade 19-yard run (Marx kick no good), 3:04
SC – Marx 30-yard field goal, 6:46
Tempe – Hughes 30-yard pass from Triana (Ibarra kick), 8:00
Tempe – Card 37-yard run (Ibarra kick), 2:11
Tempe – Ibarra 24-yard field goal, 7:49
SC – Wade 3-yard run (two-point conversion failed), 0:48
Tempe – Ibarra 36-yard field goal, 8:53
Rush-yards 26-15 38-125
Att-comp-int 30-17-1 25-16-1
Pass yards 291 181
Total yards 306 306
First downs 11 15
Fumbles/lost 2/2 0/0
Penalties 3-15 8-71
SC – Wade 15-57, Sweet 6-(-20), Wallace 4-(-18), Terrill 1-(-4). Tempe – Triana 18-27, Card 8-57, Melvin 8-35, Hughes 4-6.
SC – Sweet 9-6-0-143, Wallace 21-11-1-148. Tempe – Triana 25-16-1-181.
SC – Terrill 6-127, Hansell 5-91, Stoll 2-56, Wade 2-17, Lawlor 2-8. Tempe – Hughes 5-83, Bruner 4-49, Maddox 3-10, Melvin 2-25, Card 2-14.