Queen Creek’s Win is the Stuff Dreams are Made of

4 weeks ago Andrew Luberda 0

No. 6 Queen Creek’s 29 – 28 come-from-behind victory at No. 5 Mountain Pointe is the stuff dreams are made of, literally.

Trailing 28 – 23 with just over two minutes remaining, Queen Creek senior quarterback Devin Larsen engineered a nine-play, 80-yard game-winning drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown run by sophomore Trey Reynolds with 50 seconds left in the game.

“It’s something I’ve always dreamed of as a little kid, having that kind of game-winning drive,” Larsen said afterwards. “The offensive line made some huge blocks up front and it was all-around team effort.”

Larsen, who completed 15-of-27 passes for 205 yards with a touchdown, ran for 54 yards in the game, including 28 yards on two carries during the final drive.

“Devin proved his worth tonight,” Queen Creek head coach Travis Schureman said. “Anyone who says that Devin can’t make plays, they’re dead wrong. He put us on his shoulders (and) made the plays when he needed to. And, (Ryan Dobbs), for (Pete’s) sake, he made catches all night.

“It’s just great that our players are going to get some recognition,” Schureman added. “We’re a 5A team that got moved up and we’re sitting at 5 – 1. We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re happy where we’re at.”

The Pride, who led 28 – 20 with 5:03 left in the third quarter, had their chances to claim victory.

The first time, clinging to a 28 – 23 lead, they were deep in Bulldogs’ territory with just under 3 minutes in the game before being called for a holding penalty that pushed them out of field goal range and forced them to punt, which setup Larsen’s heroics.

Then, after the Bulldogs’ go-ahead touchdown, the Pride – sans timeouts – could not make any plays to advance the ball against a gritty Queen Creek defense, which limited Mountain Pointe’s vaunted rushing attack to 167 yards, nearly 45 yards below its average entering Friday’s game.

Mountain Pointe senior quarterback Nick Wallerstedt was 16-of-20 for 189 yards with three touchdowns, including a 73-yard scoring throw to junior receiver Dominique Davis. That lone completion accounted for almost 40 percent of the Pride’s passing-game yardage.

“Our defense has been playing their (tails) off all year,” Schureman said. “It flies to ball and doesn’t give up a lot of points. Most of the points we’ve (given up) have been late in games.

“Our kids just play football and it’s so neat to see 11 guys flying to the football, and when they get there, they’re going to hit you.”

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Give and take(back): The first score of the game was a weird one. Queen Creek’s Dart Sneed intercepted Mountain Pointe quarterback Nick Wallerstedt in the endzone, but before Sneed could advance the ball or was tackled, the ball was knocked out of his hands and right into the hands of Pride running back Finley Nitura for a touchdown.

Practice makes perfect: The Bulldogs’ execution during the game-winning drive was the result of much practice.

What did Larsen say to the guys in the huddle before the first play of the drive?

“That we still had to execute,” he told CountyLinePreps.com. “We (worked) our tempo offense – fast paced – that we practice every week. The offensive line was huge with their protection and Ryan (Dobbs) made some (great) catches. It was an all-round team drive right there.”

Added Schureman: “Coach Germaine dialed up some great plays at the end. It was neat to see the poise and our guys playing the way they’re capable of.”

Coming out party: If not for Larsen’s performance on Friday night, sophomore Trey Reynolds undoubtedly would have been the Bulldogs’ top performer.

Reynolds, who plays fullback, defensive end/linebacker, and is Larsen’s backup, entered Friday’s game with a 3:2 carry-to-touchdown ratio. After scoring two more touchdowns on just two more carries in the Bulldogs’ win, Reynold’s has now scored touchdowns on 80 percent of his carries.

Perhaps the most impressive of his four TD’s came in the first quarter last Friday on a fourth-and-one play, when he appeared to be stuffed for little or no gain only to break out of the pile and run 36 yards for the touchdown, his longest carry of the year.

In addition to a couple of big plays on offense, Reynolds made some big plays on defense, including his first two sacks of the year to go along with 10 tackles.

A night like the one Reynolds had last Friday earns a postgame feature like the one below with Sports360AZ.com’s Jordan Hamm:

(Spoiler alert: The 36-yard TD highlight is included.)

THREE STARS

Queen Creek’s Devin Larsen (12) ran for a first down on this fourth-quarter run last Friday. (Caitlyn Craig).

No. 3 – Ryan Dobbs. Four receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown, including a clutch 16-yard grab on the final drive that setup a first-and-goal with inside a minute left in the game.

No. 2 – Trey Reynolds. See above.

No. 1 – Devin Larsen. He could arguably be the No. 1 Star every week, but hard to find a game this season in which he was more deserving.

HE SAID IT

“When we got the ball back with 2:25 left, we were like, ‘Heck, yeah.’ It’s something we practice all the time. It’s not something we pulled out of a hat.” – Schureman, when asked what was going through his mind before the game-winning drive.

UP NEXT

Queen Creek will host Corona del Sol on its Homecoming this Friday. The Aztecs, led by Arizona State commit Ricky Pearsall, are 1 – 5 and have lost four-straight, including a 38 – 21 defeat at Westview last Friday.

“We need to get healthy and get back at it,” Schureman said. “It’s our Homecoming, and another great opportunity for us to play another 6A team and see what we can do.”