As Basha traveled to North Canyon the game shaped up to be a solid match up between 5A I and 5A II teams. Basha started the scoring with 1:48 left in the first quarter when quarterback Shane McBurney hit wide receiver Tony Kraft on a three yard touchdown pass. North Canyon would not trail for long when with 9:39 left in the second quarter Sherrod Austin took off around the right side for a thirty-nine yard touchdown run with the PAT the score stood 7 to 7. Basha was forced to punt on the ensuing possession but North Canyon senior Quentin Martin blocked and then recovered the Basha punt. This play set the stage for a thirteen yard TD reception to Anthony Llanos from Tim Boling. The PAT was no good making the score North Canyon 13 Basha 7. Late in the second quarter, McBurney was able to move the Basha offense after a thirty-five yard completion to Justin Evans. This threat was soon extinguished when a scrambling McBurney lost the ball and Rattler LB Anthony Llanos scooped it up and ran fifty-nine yards for a score. The two point conversion was good making the score at half North Canyon 21 Basha 7.
The second half started much like the first half ended. On the Basha opening drive, a solid hit knocked the ball out of Danny Keenan's hand and into Rattler defensive end Anthony Hestor's arms. Hestor ran to the Basha twenty-seven and on the Rattlers' first offensive play Mekyell Harrell scored on a wingback reverse. PAT good, score 28 – 7 North Canyon. To their credit the Basha defense tightened after this and held North Canyon scoreless the remainder of the game. In the fourth quarter Shane McBurney posted two scores for the Bears. First on a one yard TD dive after a solid drive and later on a forty-four yard pass to Matt Hibbert. The fourteen point comeback was not enough and the Rattlers held on to win 28-21. Next week both teams hit the road for tough matchups as North Canyon takes on Peoria and Basha travels to Tucson to play Sunnyside.
Bottom Line: North Canyon has talent but to take it to the next level they will need to tighten up their special teams and find some way to get a consistent pass game. Late in the game when North Canyon needed to run the ball Basha stacked ten men in the box and dared the Rattlers to throw. North Canyon could not do it. Basha is a scrappy team that played hard to the last down. Two fourth quarters TDs by McBurney and a tough run defense made the game interesting.
Game Balls: Anthony Llanos opened up the game in the second quarter first by catching a thirteen yard TD pass as he dragged into the end zone and later returning a fumble fifty-nine yards for a score. For Basha, LB Kyle Flannery was all over the field making big plays on the defensive side of the ball. I really enjoyed how he played the game all out.