FLORENCE — Florence was up by two touchdowns with 10 minutes left to play, and appeared to be on the verge of handing Blue Ridge its first loss of the season – until the visiting Yellow Jackets fought back for a 28-27 victory on Friday, Sept. 13.
“Florence is a good football team and they played really hard, and for most of the game they controlled the game,” Yellow Jackets coach Bob London said. “We were able late in the game to make some plays and – pretty much incredibly – come out with a win.
“It didn’t seem like we were playing hard (in the first half). We just kept playing, and eventually we found some things and found a way.”
The Jackets improve to 4-0 with the win, while the Gophers fall to 1-2.
With less than four minutes to play, the Gophers punted and the Yellow Jackets drove to 18 yards from goal. Quarterback P.J. London rushed for 15 yards and Damon Mitchell ran up the middle for the last 3. The two-point conversion was good to put the visitors within a touchdown of tying Florence.
With 2:49 to play, the visitors recovered their own kick, and two pass completions to Jimmy Wallace brought them within 8 yards of the end zone. After a few unproductive plays, it looked like they might come no closer, until quarterback P.J. London ran it in. The extra point put the Yellow Jackets ahead for the first time, with 1:09 left to play.
“We handed it to ’em; we made some mental errors, some penalties, lack of discipline in our job,” Florence coach Scott Howard said. “It is what it is, that’s what happens when you play a good football team, and you brain fart and you just don’t do your job.”
Florence quarterback Chris Walter completed 20 of 29 passes for 207 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Joshua Maignan had 29 carries for 98 yards, and three receptions for 21 yards and a touchdown. Tommy Carberry had seven catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. Kamden White had four catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Victor Aguirre had eight tackles, and Maignan had seven tackles and one assist. Regen Terry had five tackles.
Florence scored first, 10 minutes into the game, when Kamden White caught a pass for a 21-yard score. Blue Ridge caught up in the second quarter with a score by Damon Mitchell to tie the game at 7-7.
The Gophers appeared to be in trouble after Walter was sacked and they were at 3rd-and-18, 30 yards from goal. But on the next play, Walter connected with Carberry, who ran it in. Before the quarter was half over, Florence increased its lead when White intercepted London and ran 35 yards to the end zone.
Blue Ridge rallied back with pass completions to Jimmy Wallace and Cody Wallace, which brought them within a yard of goal, and Mitchell carried it the rest of the way, for a score of 20-13 at the half.
Less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, Florence widened its lead with a touchdown by Maignan.
Most of the Jackets’ offensive production was via the passing game. London was 28-of-40 passing for 239 yards. Jimmy Wallace led the team in receiving yards with seven catches for 82 yards. London led the team in rushing with eight carries for 56 yards and a touchdown. Cody Wallace had 48 yards and a TD on 15 carries and Mitchell ran the ball 11 times for 43 yards as the Jackets rushed for 156 yards.
London also led the Jackets in tackles with 12; sophomores Hershall Gregg and Ryan Cox had 10 apiece. Mitchell had eight tackles, including a team-high four solo. Cox registered a quarterback sack and an interception. London also intercepted a pass.
Other White Mountain football results from Sept. 13:
Show Low 51, American Leadership Acad. - Ironwood 7
Junior quarterback Talon Lester led a 332-yard Show Low rushing effort with 106 yards on the ground, while running backs Cal Fawcett and Quinton Maxwell scored two touchdowns apiece in combining for 150 rushing yards, as the Cougars defeated visiting American Leadership Academy - Ironwood, 51-7, in their homecoming game on Friday, Sept. 13.
Zachary Maxwell, a senior, led Show Low with 11 total tackles, including a sack, and sophomore Bryson Ryan had 10, including three solo stops, and a fumble recovery. Anthony Avila (eight tackles) and Kevin Whipple (four tackles) had two sacks apiece.
Lester was 5-of-5 passing for 57 yards and two touchdowns — one to Whipple for 32 yards and one to Fawcett for 18.
Show Low fumbled twice.
Show Low (2-1) travels to Safford tonight to take on the Bulldogs in a 7 p.m. game.
St. Johns 50, Globe 0
St. Johns’ offense rolled for 403 total yards and took a 47-0 halftime lead on the way to a 50-0 win against visiting Globe in a 2A non-region game on Friday, Sept. 13.
Senior Tanner Crosby ran for two touchdowns and caught a pass for another. Junior Gaige Trickey accounted for 14 points as he ran for one TD and kicked five extra points and a fourth-quarter field goal.
Senior quarterback Ramon Sanchez was 6-of-13 passing for 143 yards and two scores. Junior Ira Tullous led the team’s 240-yard rushing effort with 91 yards and a TD on 10 carries.
Seniors Mark Ballejos and Tate Skousen led the defensive shutout with six total tackles apiece. Afton Cox (three tackles) and Nick Patterson (two stops) combined for a sack. Elijah Jessop (two tackles) had a fumble recovery.
St. Johns improves to 3-1 on the season.
Snowflake 52, Page 0
Snowflake senior Brig Turley ran for three touchdowns and scored another TD on a kickoff return as the Lobos routed Page, 52-0, on the road in a 3A non-region game on Friday, Sept. 13.
Snowflake improves to 3-1 on the season.
Senior quarterback Ethan Ramage completed 12 of 19 passes for 155 yards and two first-half scores.
Turley had 175 yards of all-purpose running in the win. He had 89 yards and the three scores on 10 carries to lead the Lobos in rushing. Jacob Ballard and Terren Green each had 47 yards on the ground.
Nick McVicker led the receivers swith three catches for 48 yards and a score. Welcome Chapman had three catches for 35 yards and a TD.
The Lobos host Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian (1-2) in another 3A non-region game tonight at 7 p.m.