The County Line Preps Scoreboard

3 years ago Andrew Luberda 0

Hamblin has Pair of Defensive TD’s in BF Win

Benjamin Franklin senior Seth Hamblin returned an interception and a blocked punt for touchdowns in the fifth-ranked Chargers’ 38 – 8 victory against visiting Safford last Friday night.

Hamblin’s 35-yard pick-six increased his team’s first-quarter lead to 12 – 0. Later in the quarter, off a blocked punt by senior defensive end Powell Skiba, Hamblin returned it 40 yards for a touchdown, increasing the Chargers’ lead to 18 – 0.

Skiba, a team captain, also had two sacks in the game.

Since a season-opening loss, Benjamin Franklin’s defense has been stout, allowing only a combined 62 points in seven games, an average of nine points per game. Including Friday’s region contest, opposing teams have been held scoreless in 17 of the last 20 quarters.

“Seth is a great athlete who made some really big plays tonight, so he was visible,” Benjamin Franklin head coach Dave Jefferies told “We had some others with big nights.”

Jefferies mentioned junior defensive tackles McCalister Loving and Austin Bateman as a pair who maybe haven’t been mentioned much this year but have been consistent contributors in the Chargers’ defensive success.

The win extended the Chargers’ winning streak to seven games and avenged last year’s 67 – 14 loss to the Bulldogs.

“Just proud of how our kids came out and played with courage,” Jefferies said. “(Safford) completely embarrassed us last year, so it was nice that our kids came out unafraid and took this challenge head on.”

The undersized Chargers took it to a much bigger Safford team, which includes 6-foot-7, 300-pound Ralph Frias, who recently was offered by Arizona State.

Benjamin Franklin showed it’s not about the size of a dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog – no pun intended.

“Safford has some size, like several teams we’ve played this year,” Jefferies said. “Our team has played with heart and has really come together; tight as a fist as we refer to it.”

Running back duo Zach Jefferies and Chandler Miles combined for 293 of the Chargers’ 301 rushing yards against the Bulldogs. Jefferies, a sophomore, had three touchdowns while Miles, a junior, finished with one score.

Benjamin Franklin will enjoy a bye before hosting No. 4 Florence on Friday, Oct. 20.

“This week is a great opportunity to get some much-needed rest and healing from the week in, week out grind of the season,” said Dave Jefferies. “We’ve been in some pretty physical games the last couple weeks and this should help get all the bumps and bruises healed up.”

Next week’s kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.


San Tan Foothills Bounces Back

The No. 10-ranked San Tan Foothills football team rebounded from its worst loss of the season by routing Arizona College Preps last Friday night, 54 – 0.

“We went back to basics this week,” San Tan Foothills head coach George De La Torre said after the game. “We focused on assignments and anticipating worst case scenarios on offense.”

Zach Herrera.

“On defense, we ask the kids to improve in reacting to pressure and ball pursuits.”

Sophomore quarterback Zach Herrera threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. He completed five of his six pass attempts for 91 yards. Running back Amahri Bailey rushed for 233 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman Jimmy Brooks carried 13 times for 152 yards. The Cats rushed for 457 yards as a team.

“We had great week of practice, focusing a lot more during the week,” Herrera said. “Everything was clicking – the run and the pass – it was just a great win for us.”

Amahri Bailey (7) runs through the tackle of a Knights’ defender during last Friday’s game.

Senior receiver Sebastian Penaflor (1) and junior Michael Holmes (2) caught Herrera’s three touchdown throws. The duo combined for 85 receiving yards, including Penaflor’s 45-yard touchdown reception.

The Sabercats improved to 5 – 2 overall and 3 – 0 in East Region play. They visit No. 16 Chandler Prep this Friday. The Titans sport an identical record (5 – 2, 3 – 0), meaning Friday’s matchup is for supremacy in the region.

“We all did our assignments, which makes us a team that is really hard to stop,” Penalfor said about last week’s game before looking ahead to the Titans. “Our real challenge is next week.”

Kickoff for Friday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m.


Poston Butte Posts Shutout in Win

The Broncos scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter of last Friday’s game against visiting Flowing Wells on their way to a 28 – 0 victory.

With the win, Poston Butte improved to 4 – 3 overall, 1 – 0 in Sonoran Region action.

“We played well defensively,” Poston Butte head coach Dain Thompson told “Offensively, we just had a hard time getting into a good flow – mental mistakes, penalties, a few dropped balls – we never really clicked. But we stayed with it and kept playing hard.”

After senior running back Tyler Thompson’s 19-yard touchdown in the first quarter, the Broncos didn’t break through again until the final quarter with some help from the defense.

Midway through the fourth quarter, senior quarterback Carter White, who made his third-straight start in place of injured starter Connor McDonald, threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Javier Munoz. Senior kicker Zack Piwniczka, who was 4-of-4 on the night, hit the PAT to increase the Broncos lead to 14 – 0.

White finished 14-of-20 for 139 yards and a touchdown in addition to 36 yards rushing and a touchdown. Tyler Thompson carried six times for 56 yards. Munoz had four receptions for 52 yards. Senior Brendan Sargent caught six passes for 48 yards.

Senior defensive back Sean McClintic’s 30-yard interception return for a touchdown just a few plays later made it 21 – 0.

The defense set up the final score as well, when senior Larry Tripp recovered a Caballeros fumble, resulting in White’s one-yard touchdown run.

“It was good to see some players step up and make big plays down the stretch,” Dain Thompson said. “The pick-six by McClintic and then a forced fumble by Tripp were huge.”

Five Broncos’ defenders finished with double-digit tackles, including Tyler Thompson (16) and Rene Cervantez (14) along with Tripp, Khalil Cooper and Angel Boykin, who had 11 apiece.

The Broncos will have a chance to claim sole possession of first place in the Sonoran Region this Friday, when they host No. 10 Marana. The Tigers come to San Tan Valley with a 5 – 2 record, including 2 – 0 in the region.

It’s been three seasons since the Broncos played in such a meaningful game.

“This is certainly a big game,” said Dain Thompson. “Offensively, we need to be very efficient. We will have a limited number of opportunities against Marana because they are very good, we just need to be able to capitalize on those opportunities.

“Defensively, we need to play smart: recognize and align to their multiple sets,” Thompson continued. “They have a complete team and we will be facing the best quarterback that we’ve seen so far. It will be a challenge for us and I’m betting that we will be up for that challenge.”

Friday’s kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.


Combs Routs Cortez behind Seven Turnovers, Blocked Punt

The Combs football team has been on the wrong side of the turnover margin in almost every game this season, but it turned the tables on visiting Cortez last Friday night on the way to a lopsided 63 – 0 victory.

The Coyotes picked off six Colts’ passes, recovered a fumble and blocked a punt in their second victory of the year. The Yotes’ offense, on the other hand, was turnover free for the first time this season. The result was an easy win.

“The game was a good one for us to execute what we had planned,” Combs head coach Travis Miller told “I really think that Cortez was struggling with personnel and was forced to pass the ball more than it wanted, which worked for us as the secondary is one of our stronger defensive positions.”

Combs scored early and often, jumping out to a 35 – 0 lead in the first quarter. By halftime, the lead increased to 49 – 0 before a running clock in the second half. The Yotes tacked on two more touchdowns in the second half.

Junior running back Cody White, who missed the first five games due to the transfer rule, rushed for 125 yards and four touchdowns. Junior Francisco Munoz ran for 100 yards on only three carries.

After watching his team throw four interceptions a week ago, including two returned for touchdowns, Miller vowed to reveal a new offense this week against Cortez. The results were evident.

Sophomore quarterback Trey Buck attempted only seven passes, completing four for 110 yards.

On defense, Antonio Horrison returned one of his two interceptions for a pick-six while Roy Anderson returned a blocked punt for a touchdown.

Anderson, who also had two interceptions, led the Coyotes’ defense with five tackles. Cameron Stewart and Zeke Sanchez also had an interception apiece.

After a 1 – 5 start, Combs must win the region title to secure a playoff berth.

“We needed some momentum going into the rest of our schedule,” said White.

Mission accomplished.

The Coyotes improved to 1 – 1 in the 4A Black Canyon Region and are in control of their own destiny in their pursuit of a playoff spot.

“Our season-long goal, established by the seniors, is to win the region,” Miller said. “We’re aware that we control our destiny now, but we have to stay focused because nothing is guaranteed.”

Up next:  Combs at Coronado on Friday, Oct. 13. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.