Chaparral 45 Tempe 7
Defense wins championships and if that is the case then 4A teams should be aware of the #4 ranked Chaparral Firebirds. In a lopsided win over # 9 Tempe the Firebird D Lead by Ekom Udofia rarely allowed the Buffs to see the other side of the field.
The game started with a flurry of action as the teams exchanged turnovers in the first minute of play. On the opening kickoff, Tempe recovered a Chaparral fumble only to then throw an interception on their offensive possession. The teams then exchanged punts on the next two possessions. This soon changed when the Firebirds Jr. QB Nick Neuenfeldt hit speedy Vince Coleman for a forty-seven yard reception, making it first and goal. On the next play, Spenser Rothery sealed the deal with a short run to the left side for a touchdown. PAT good Chaparral 7 - Tempe 0. Tempe continues the theme of the evening with a three and out and punts to Chaparral. Garner Geitz handles the punt and takes it thirty-four yards putting the Firebirds on the Tempe sixteen. On 3rd and 5 Neuenfeldt hits TE Grant Pakis with a ten yard strike for a touchdown. PAT good. Chaparral 14- Tempe 0.
The remainder of the first half Chaparral continues its defensive dominance of Tempe. Shifty Buff running back Dwight Pete was never able to find lanes and primarily worked his legs during his duties as punter. The scoring in the first half ends when the Firebirds go on a eighty-seven yard march primarily spurred by the running of Spenser Rothery. On the drive Rothery has back to back carries of fifty-two and twenty-four yards. The drive ends on a sprint action touchdown pass from Neuenfeldt to Coleman. PAT good. Chaparral 21 – Tempe 0.
Tempe starts the second half showing some offensive life as they are able to move the ball from their own eight with two successful passes. This trend soon ends and Tempe again is forced to punt. Chaparral takes over on their own nineteen yard line and quickly moves downfield behind the running of John Jones and Spenser Rothery. Again, a big thirty-eight yard pass play between Neuenfeldt and Coleman sets up another short touchdown run for Rothery. The extra point was good making the score Chaparral 28 – Tempe 0.
As the third quarter ends, and the fourth begins Chaparral again moves the ball on big runs by Rothery of twenty–four yards and a touchdown run of twenty-two. The point after is good. Score Chaparral 35 – Tempe 0. At this point, both the Buffs and Firebirds start to work their second team. Chaparral puts up ten more points with a field goal and a TD jaunt by by Kellen Bell. Tempe finally gets on the boards when Dwight Pete takes a Kick off eighty-nine yards. With the extra point, the scoring for the night is over and Chaparral wins going away 45 to 7.
Bottom Line: CHAP PLAYS D!! Ekom Udofia occupies blockers and is truly a man among boys, but he is not the only defensive stud. Senior Shaun Rothery makes plays off the edge and is a disruptive force. As a whole, the D gets eleven men to the ball and tackles well in the open field. Tempe was held to under sixty offensive yards!!!
Game Balls: The entire Chaparral D. On offense Spencer Rothery rushed for 148 yards and had 3 TDs.