TUCSON, AZ – Building a quick, 10-0, lead, Mesa went on to a 36-20 WSFL football victory over Pima Saturday night at the Kino Sports Complex North Stadium.
A recovered fumbled punt in the end zone, and a 33-yard field goal from Brian Franklin (So., Mesa, AZ/Dobson H.S.) put MCC quickly in front and the T-Birds extended their margin to 30-0 before the Aztecs got on the board.
A huge part of the second straight win for MCC was once again the T-Bird defense. After making several big fourth down stops in last week's victory over Phoenix, the Mesa D produced seven take-aways and even blocked a field goal.
The first turnover resulted directly in a touchdown. Franklin's punt from the MCC 47 was fumbled and recovered in the end zone by Dusty Cook (Fr., Gilbert, AZ/Highland H.S.), the first of two TDs on the day for the big tight end.
On its first offensive play Pima saw quarterback Kian Homme intercepted by Jamorien Hill (Fr., Tuscaloosa, Ala/IMG Academy). The drive ultimately resulted in Franklin's field goal at the 9:57 mark of opening quarter.
Apodaca and Sykes connected again in the second quarter on a 14-yard score. The PAT was blocked, leaving the T-Birds with a 23-0 halftime lead.
Mesa wasted little time in getting things going in the second half. Just a minute and a half into the third quarter, Carlton Williams, pictured right, (So, Avondale, AZ/Warren Central H.S.) burst 37-yards up the middle for the score that gave the Thunderbirds their 30-0 margin.
Pima finally got on the board with 6:59 left in the third when Deontay Townsend scored from the four.
The Aztecs struck again quickly after a Mesa three-and-out on a halfback pass for a 50-yard score from Donovan Moore to Angel Holmes. A try for a two-point conversion failed leaving MCC with a 30-12 lead.
Cook picked up his second TD at the end of a 66-yard drive highlighted by a 49-yard pass from Apodaca to Marquise Coleman (So., Denver, Colo/Eagle Crest H.S.). The PAT was blocked as the T-Birds led, 36-12.
It stayed that way until Pima added an inconsequential TD with 1:09 to play on a 25-yard pass from Rasheem Parks to Tristen Foley.
In unofficial stats, Apodaca was 26-48 for 212 yards and two scores. Sykes caught nine of the passes for 80 yards and Cook grabbed four worth 29.
Williams finished with 80 yards on 13 attempts and Garrette Craig (So., Phoenix, AZ/Mountain Pointe H.S.) gained 34 on five carries.
Mesa, now 2-2, remains on the road next week visiting Eastern Arizona Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
Other WSFL scores:
Scottsdale 34, Snow 28
Glendale 32, New Mexico Military 21
Arizona Western 27, Eastern Arizona 24 OT