PHOENIX — For a half, it looked like Phoenix was going to muddy the Skyline Conference football playoff picture.
Despite three lost fumbles, the Pirates led 7-0 at halftime over the second-place Hornets. However, Phoenix couldn't maintain the momentum and fell, 26-7, at Jack Woodward Stadium on Friday.
"We had our chances," said Pirates coach Walt Bazylewicz, whose team dropped to 2-6 overall, 1-3 in league. "We should have gone up 21-0 at halftime. We had one fumble inside the 10 and the other killed a good drive as well."
Phoenix scored in the first quarter on a 19-yard pass from Chris Kammel to Ty Jones.
From that point, the defense stepped up, led by senior outside linebacker Brent Behneke, junior end Ben Crichton and junior defensive back Dom Ralls, who had an interception and a couple of pass breakups.
The inspired play was the result of a combination of things, said Bazylewicz, notably "of the seniors playing their last game on that field. The kids came out and were determined. We fought hard but we couldn't overcome those turnovers."
Henley (6-3, 3-1 Skyline) rode the powerful running of Justin Chavarria in its rally. He had 19 carries for 187 yards and sparked the offense as it helped produce 20 third-quarter points.
"They got their inside running game going," said Bazylewicz, "and we didn't have an answer for that."
Rocky Rosser returned an interception for the Hornets between TDs by Donald Cox (1-yard run) and Joey Cullen (11-yard pass from Matt Taylor).
Chavarria finished the scoring with a 21-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth.
Behneke paced the Phoenix offense, rushing four times for 65 yards and catching three passes for 20 yards.
"We're proud of our kids' effort," said Bazylewicz. "They played hard for 48 minutes. That's all we ask of them."
Henley 0 0 20 6 — 26
Phoenix 7 0 0 0 — 7
P — Jones 19 pass from Kammel (Machado kick)
H — Cox 1 run (kick failed)
H — Rosser 35 interception return (kick failed)
H — Cullen 11 pass from Taylor (Chavarria run)
H — Chavarria 21 run (kick failed)
HIDDEN VALLEY 35, NORTH VALLEY 21 — At Merlin, Hidden Valley's offense was nearly perfect as quarterback David Wardle went 10-for-10 for 128 yards and hooked up with Jake Scott for two touchdowns for the Mustangs, who overcame an early deficit to top North Valley.
The Mustangs (4-5, 2-2 Skyline), who can clinch the third and final Skyline Conference seed with a win over Phoenix next Friday, held North Valley (5-3, 2-2 Skyline) to negative rushing yardage in the second half.
Hidden Valley's ground game was nearly as effective as its aerial attack, gouging North Valley for 370 yards on 48 attempts.
Dustin Fox had 135 yards on only nine carries and tied the score 14-all on a 4-yard touchdown plunge. His backfield mate Travis Warren put Hidden Valley ahead 21-14 with his TD run.
Warren had 12 carries for 73 yards and Todd Woodrum ran the ball 16 times for 115 yards.
The Knights' Keith Suits had a 9-yard touchdown run and a 40-yard TD catch on a double-reverse throw by Rico Johnson.
Suits had 113 yards on the ground and Brendon Reyes-Johnson hauled in seven passes for 112 yards and a score.
Hidden Valley 7 14 7 7 —35
North Valley 7 7 0 7 —21
HV — Godfried 4 run (Nielsen kick)
NV — Suits 12 run (kick failed)
NV — Reyes-Johnson 5 pass from Sleight (Hiler from Sleight)
HV — Fox 4 run (Nielsen kick)
HV — Warren 4 run (Nielsen kick)
HV — Scott 8 pass from Wardle (Nielsen kick)
HV — Scott 2 pass from Wardle (Nielsen kick)
NV — Suits 40 pass from Johnson (Woodruff kick)
ILLINOIS VALLEY 46, ROGUE RIVER 8 — At Rogue River, Larry Ragsdale rushed for 90 yards, had 60 receiving and scored two touchdowns to help Illinois Valley get the Skyline Conference win.
Jesse Swift scored two touchdowns for the Cougars in the first quarter. Swift rushed for 67 yards. Illinois Valley racked up 501 yards on offense, 441 of them rushing.
The win clinched the No. 1 seed for the Cougars in the 4A state playoffs.
Illinois Valley 21 13 6 6 — 46
Rogue River 0 0 0 8 — 8
IV — Swift 6 run (Hoskins kick)
IV — Ellis 2 run (Hoskins kick)
IV — Swift 3 run (Hoskins kick)
IV — Ragsdale 48 run (pass failed)
IV — Ragsdale 10 pass from Hoskins (Hoskins kick)
IV — VanKassel 8 run (kick failed)
IV —Mackey 3 run (kick failed)
RR —Reyes 66 pass from C. Burman (Reyes Pass from C. Burman)
BUTTE FALLS 34, NORTH LAKE 6 — At Butte Falls, undefeated Butte Falls used a balanced offense to dispatch North Lake in the District 2 contest.
Codey Myers passed for two touchdowns to Harley Casillas and Joey Knighton and Josh Dyck combined for more than 200 yards rushing as the Loggers improved to 8-0, 7-0 District 2.
Casillas caught scoring strikes of 47 and 15 yards for Butte Falls' first two touchdowns and later hit pay dirt on a 6-yard run.
Myers was 5-for-9 for 164 yards, and Casillas caught four passes for 114 yards.
Dyck carried 16 times for 95 yards and TDs of 4 and 1 yard. Knighton ran 13 times for 114 yards and accounted for a two-point conversion run.
Defensively, Chase Ellis had 14 tackles and four assists for the Loggers, Josh Sutfin had nine and nine, Daniel Smith had eight and seven, T.J. Wilson eight and 11 and Josh McGonagle six and 13.
North Lake 0 0 6 0 —6
Butte Falls 6 14 8 6 —34
BF — Casillas 47 pass from Myers (run failed)
BF — Casillas 15 pass from Myers (pass failed)
BF — Dyck 4 run (Casillas run)
NL — Erb 40 pass from Fivecoat (pass failed)
BF — Dyck 1 run (Knighton run)
BF — Casillas 6 run (kick failed)
TRIAD 50, PROSPECT 12 — At Prospect, Tony Maddalena had three touchdowns and Triad compiled 339 yards and five TDs on the ground to roll past Prospect for the District 2 victory.
Maddalena ran, threw and caught touchdowns for the Timberwolves (2-5 MVL). He split time at quarterback to complete 7 of 10 passes for 86 yards.
Loren Meeker paced the Timberwolves' ground assault with 150 yards on only six carries and added touchdown scampers of 56 and 42 yards.
Triad's Jake Ovgard rushed 10 times for 96 yards with a score and tossed a 34-yard touchdown to Maddalena at the end of the first quarter to give the Timberwolves a 24-0 lead.
Dakota Gordon found pay dirt twice on the ground for Prospect (0-7).
Triad 24 12 14 0 —50
Prospect 0 6 6 0 —12
T — Meeker 56 run (Reece pass from Maddalena)
T — Balin 3 run (Smith run)
T — Maddalena 34 pass from Ovgard (Reece run)
T — Maddelena 3 run (run failed)
P — Gordon 10 run (pass failed)
T — Reece 27 pass from Maddalena (run failed)
T — Meeker 42 run (Smith run)
P — Gordon 1 run (run failed)
T — Ovgard 4 run (run failed)