Tag Archives: Peoria

Williams Field eliminates Liberty


Gilbert Williams Field has not been mentioned much as a possible contender for a Division III state championship.

It will be now.

Williams Field used a dominating second half performance to eliminate Peoria Liberty in the quarterfinals again, 53-30, Friday night.

Williams Field will face No.1 seed Goodyear Desert Edge next Saturday at Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor in the semifinals.

“We stepped up to make plays in the second half, which we didn’t do in the first half,” Williams Field coach Steve Campbell said.

Williams Field (11-1), the No. 5 seed, put up 33 straight points after trailing by a point at halftime. It scored on defense and special teams and neutralized fourth-seeded Liberty’s high-powered offense.

Liberty (10-2) turned the ball over four times and was held on downs on two other possessions as it lost in the quarterfinals for the third straight year. The school has never reached the semifinals.

It looked like Liberty was poised to finally reach the final four when it drove 80 yards on the game’s opening drive for a quick 7-0 lead.

But Williams Field kept the pressure on Liberty’s star quarterback Tyler Rogers, intercepting him twice, including one that Terrance Payne II returned 40 yards for a touchdown. That score in the fourth quarter put Williams Field up 46-14 and sealed the win.

“Our defense played its butt off,” Campbell said.

Williams Field also got another big game from running back Sean Schweichler. The senior rushed for 137 yards and returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter that started the second half rout.

The teams combined for 44 points in the fourth quarter. Until it scored two touchdowns in eight seconds late in the game, Liberty had only put up 14 despite coming in averaging 49.

Published at azcentral.com • Nov. 9, 2012
Published at USAToday.com • Nov. 10, 2012

Defense comes up big in Cactus win


Glendale Cactus has been riding its defense all season long. That didn’t change Friday night in a big Division III win at high-scoring Peoria Sunrise Mountain.

Sunrise Mountain was able to move the ball all night, but when it mattered most, Cactus’ defense came up big in a 49-28 win.

Cactus (7-2) held Sunrise Mountain to nearly half its season average and never gave up a lead it took just before halftime.

“To hold them to 28 points is a hell of a job,” Cactus coach Larry Fetkenhier said. “They’ve scored a lot of points against everybody.”

Cactus was able to score more in this one as it capitalized on some key Sunrise Mountain mistakes.

One play after Sunrise Mountain fumbled on its first snap of the second half, Cactus’ Jaylon James took a run in 22 yards for a touchdown to give Cactus a 27-14 lead.

Sunrise Mountain answered with a 13-play scoring drive to stay within a touchdown. But Cactus kept some distance as David Neel returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards for a touchdown and a 35-21 lead after a 2-point conversion.

Sunrise Mountain was able to mount another long drive to get back within a touchdown at 35-28, but Cactus’ defense gave up no more.

First, Cactus forced a fumble and turned it into James’ third rushing touchdown. Then on Sunrise Mountain’s next possession, two drive-killing sacks gave the ball back to Cactus.

Cactus ultimately had to punt, but Sunrise Mountain muffed it, setting up Cactus deep in Sunrise Mountain territory.

James’ fourth touchdown two plays later iced the victory and made the game look like more of a blowout than it was.

Sunrise Mountain (7-2) outgained Cactus by about 200 yards, but that was no comfort to Sunrise Mountain coach James Carter.

“We can’t have turnovers against a good team,” Carter said. “And we had too many missed tackles.”

Cactus’ defense stepped up big at the end despite playing most of the game without talented defensive back Anthony Alcala.

Alcala was ejected in the first half for throwing a punch at a Sunrise Mountain player in a tackle pile. He will have to sit out next week’s big game against Peoria Liberty.

Desert Edge defeats Liberty in convincing fashion

Peoria Liberty entered Friday night’s big Division III home game against undefeated Goodyear Desert Edge averaging 57 points a game.

So when Desert Edge shocked everybody in north Peoria with a 26-0 statement win, Desert Edge coach Rich Wellbrock made sure his defensive coordinator Travis Guiney got his due.

“That’s G-U-I-N-E-Y,” Wellbrock carefully spelled out to reporters after the game. “Coach Guiney put together a great game plan and the players executed it to perfection.”

Desert Edge proved it is for real, moving to 8-0 and handing Liberty (7-1) its first loss in shockingly easy fashion.

libertydeLiberty came into the game averaging 440 yards of offense but it barely cracked 200 against Desert Edge. Star quarterback Tyler Rogers was frustrated all night, tossing two interceptions after having only three all season before the game.

More importantly, Desert Edge kept Liberty off the scoreboard for the first time in school history.

Kyle Woolard, one of Desert Edge’s main offensive weapons, played more defense than usual against Liberty and intercepted a pass in the first half that changed the game.

With the game still scoreless with a minute left in the first half, Woolard scored on a 3-yard run then he intercepted Rogers on Liberty’s next offensive play.

That led to Sawyer Lung’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Ismael Murphy-Richardson to turn a scoreless game to 14-0 in just 30 seconds.

With Desert Edge in control in the second half, Wellbrock called on the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Woolard to eat up the clock. Woolard continually helped move the chains and ended with 192 rushing yards to go over the 1,000-yard milestone for the season.

“We haven’t proven anything yet,” Woolard said. “We’re not even close to the playoffs.”

Liberty had two chances to score in the first half but it missed two field goals.

Published at azcentral sports • Oct 12, 2012

Cactus bounces back against Thunderbird


It wasn’t the happiest weeks to be around the Glendale Cactus football team.

After last week’s 53-point loss to Scottsdale Saguaro, Cactus coach Larry Fetkenhier said the program was embarrassed, and he challenged his team to respond this week against Phoenix Thunderbird.

It took a little more than three quarters to do so, but Cactus finally got it together to erase a 10-point second-half deficit and hand Thunderbird a 21-17 loss in a key Division III game.

Cactus senior Josh Kindred ran back two long punt returns in the fourth quarter, and his second one set up Austin Marshall’s 4-yard touchdown run with four minutes left. That gave Cactus (4-2) its first lead of the game and proved to be the game-winner.

“I wanted to know how we would respond after we got out butts dismantled last week,” Fetkenhier said about the 67-14 loss. “But we found a way to win.”

For most of the game it appeared Thunderbird (3-3) was going to beat Cactus for the first since anybody on the sidelines could remember. Thunderbird’s offense mounted numerous ball-control drives and led from the opening possession until Marshall’s game-winning score for Cactus.

Things definitely looked up for Thunderbird in the third quarter when it held Cactus on downs at the 6 and turned it around for a 94-yard scoring drive to give it a 17-7 lead.

Thunderbird running back Kani Benoit, who had 177 rushing yards on 30 carries, capped the long drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

But instead of folding at that point, Cactus came alive. Quarterback Talil Yousufzai led it on an eight-play scoring drive immediately after Thunderbird’s TD to cut the deficit to 17-14.

Right after that, Kindred’s first long punt return of 55 yards put Cactus in field goal range, but it missed a chance to tie it when the kick went wide left.

But Thunderbird punted back to Kindred on its next possession, and this time he returned it 49 yards to right outside Thunderbird 20. Five plays later Cactus had the win.

Published at azcentral.com • Fri Sep 28, 2012


high schools

Centennial completely in control vs. Apollo

by Jason Stone

If there was ever a question of whether Peoria Centennial has a complete team in 2012, it answered emphatically Friday night at Glendale Apollo.
Centennial showed why it’s the No.1 team in Division II with a dominating 70-20 win in a battle of top-10 unbeatens.
Centennial (4-0) scored touchdowns rushing, passing, on special teams and on defense and led 35-7 lead before attempting its first pass.
“We were just trying to keep up with the defense,” quarterback Tre’von Grant said. “The defense was scoring more than we (the offense) were.”
Nine players scored touchdowns for Centennial, and twice it scored touchdowns a minute apart. The first came in the first quarter, when it took a 21-7 lead despite having the ball only once offensively.
No.9 Apollo (3-1) never recovered from the early hole, despite having an offense that came in averaging 52 points a game.
Centennial’s Kyle Mack picked off a Jordan Gungl pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown, giving Centennial a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Apollo showed life with a nine-play scoring drive to cut the deficit in half, but Centennial grabbed momentum back immediately as Oche Meyers took the ensuing kickoff back 99 yards for a touchdown.
Apollo got within 22 points with a touchdown right before halftime, but Centennial dominated the second half despite emptying its bench.
Dominique Hodge scooped up a fumble and returned it 67 yards for a TD midway in the third quarter to turn the game into a rout.
A fumble recovery and blocked punt set up two more Centennial touchdowns.
“All phases of the game chipped in,” Centennial coach Richard Taylor said. “There is still work to be done, but the kids played great tonight.”

Published at azcentral.com • Sept. 14, 2012