Queen Creek Responds with Homecoming Win

2 months ago Andrew Luberda 0

The Queen Creek and Cesar Chavez football teams entered Friday night’s game on Ralph Pomeroy Field at Queen Creek High School with something to prove after each allowed more than 50 points to their respective opponents just a week ago.

In front of a large crowd on hand for Homecoming, the Bulldogs removed the bad taste from their mouths early, jumping out to a 28 – 7 lead at the half before notching their second victory of the year, 35 – 20.

“We wanted it so bad to come back out and have another chance (to play),” said junior quarterback and linebacker Trey Reynolds, who threw for three touchdowns in addition to recording 14 tackles. “We all were excited and happy about (playing).”

The Bulldogs were also motivated to play inspired football on their Homecoming.

“We didn’t want to disappoint our fans,” senior running back Jace Bond said afterwards. “Last week, Chandler came in here and kicked the crap out of us. This week, we were anxious to show the type of team we actually are.”

Friday’s game may have been just what the Bulldogs needed – a hard victory against a quality opponent after a humbling defeat.

“I thought it was a gutsy performance by our team,” Queen Creek head coach Joe Germaine told CountyLinePreps.com. “We have a lot to improve on [and] a lot to prove as well.

“I thought we proved something to ourselves tonight,” he continued. “We wanted to come in and play a tough football game; at the line scrimmage, with the run game, some good play-action, and I thought we did that.”

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Ready to play – We’ll get to the in-game moments in a bit, but I think the Bulldogs mindset following the loss versus Chandler and their preparation during the week contributed to their success against the Champions.

To a man – players and coaches – the team was anxious and determined to show it was better than the results a week ago. Obviously, it did.

“We talked about it early in the practice week,” Germaine said. “How lucky we are that there is another game. We have a chance to get back on track, get that bad taste out of our mouths, and we were able to do that. Our players were excited to play (Friday night).”

Fast Starts, Slow finish – After the team spent the week preparing to get “that bad taste out of our mouths,” I believe it was important to achieve some positive results early, and the Bulldogs did, scoring on four of their five first-half possessions.

Reynolds threw touchdown passes to junior Aisake Toiaivao and sophomore Payton Barlow on Queen Creek’s first two possessions. Following a punt on their third possession, the Bulldogs tallied a pair of rushing touchdowns by Barlow and senior Jace Bond before halftime.

The Bulldogs’ defense forced a three-and-out to start the second half and scored on the subsequent play – a 42-yard pass from Reynolds to senior Jared Bosworth.

Later, leading 35 – 20 in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs’ offense burned more than six minutes off the clock before senior Yoann Djassa’s interception sealed the win.

“We work on it all the time,” Germaine said about the four-minute offense at the end of games. “It’s being aware of the situations, because we’ve been on the other side of that. It’s one of the worst ways to lose a game but one of the best ways to win one.”

Bond, Jace Bond – On just two of his 14 touches, Bond had a great impact on the game.

Jace Bond (11). (Caitlyn Craig)

The 5-foot-9, 175-pound running back rushed for 110 yards on just 11 carries, including a 77-yard touchdown run from the Wildcat formation that increased the Bulldogs’ lead to 21 – 7 in the second quarter. Earlier, his 42-yard punt return setup Barlow’s touchdown reception.

“It was my first time playing quarterback since I was seven years-old,” Bond said about his 77-yard touchdown run. “(It) was a perfect snap, a perfect run fake, I read the right block, and I was gone.”

THREE STARS

No. 3 – Jace Bond. 11 carries for 110 yards and a TD. One reception for 11 yards and two kick/punt returns for 80 yards.

No. 2 – Payton Barlow. Two rushes for 34 yards. Two receptions for 27 yards. One rushing TD, one receiving TD.

Trey Reynolds looks over the Cesar Chavez defense. (Caitlyn Craig).

No. 1 – Trey Reynolds. 159 total yards, three passing TD’s and 14 tackles.

HE SAID IT

“There were a lot of question marks coming into this week (based) on our last game. I think there are still going to be a lot of question marks from people outside of Queen Creek, and rightly so.” – Germaine

UP NEXT

Queen Creek visits Mesa Mountain View on Friday, Sept. 13. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

“I hope the team that we are right now, we’re a much better team later in the year and we’re peaking,” Germaine said. “We’re an inexperienced team, a very young team at a lot of key positions, and we made a ton of mistakes (Friday night), but a win is a win is a win, and we’re happy to be where we’re at right now.”