In one of the greatest games a fan could ask for, Greenway and Cienega went at it in for more than 48 minutes exchanging TD after TD as the two teams combined for 83 points. This was a game of huge plays and gutsy calls on both sides, an awesome treat that saw Greenway come up big in overtime to beat Cienega in southern Arizona 42-41.
Two of the most prolific offenses in 4A D1 pulled out all of the stops with Cienega striking the first blow midway through the 1st quarter when RB Jesus Short broke away for a 24 yard score, starting a scoring frenzy of 63 points in a 12 minute span. Greenway answered back on the next drive when Nathan Hodges found star RB Kenton Thomas open for a 46 yard TD for the first of five touchdowns on the night. A missed 2 pt conversion put the Demons down 7-6 with three minutes in the first. After forcing a Cienega punt, Greenway struck again when Hodges connected on a 71 yard strike to Thomas, leaving the Demons inside the 20 to end the 1st. Thomas would punch it in from 2 yards out seconds later and with the 2 point conversion, Greenway went up 14-7. The Bobcats' offense returned the favour when QB Michael Robertson found an open receiver down the middle of the field for 42 yards for the TD knotting the score at 14. On the ensuing kick-off, K Dean Stock executed an onside kick to perfection bouncing the ball off a retreating Greenway lineman as the Bobcats recovered at midfield. Minutes later Robertson connected with a familiar target Bryce Burnett on a beautiful fade pass for an 18 yard score and a 21-14 lead. Pinned against their end zone on the next kick, the Demons called upon Thomas again who answered by shredding defenders en route to a 93 yard TD. With the 2 pt conversion Greenway led 22-21, which would stand at the half.
In a wild turn of events, the Demons added to their lead to open the 2nd half. After being forced to 4th down and a punt situation, a bad snap flew over the head of Hodges (also the punter), who recovered and improvised by lobbing one deep to a streaking Nick Certo for 65 yards and another TD. A late flag due to an illegal man down field brought the play back, leaving Greenway with a 4th and 20 situation from their 25. Greenway went right back to the fake punt, this time Hodges teaming with Thomas for a wild 75 yard TD. Trailing 28-21, Cienega strapped it up marching 80 yards with a good combo of pass and run for a 3yard Robertson touchdown. Greenway still led 28-27 after a missed PAT.
Moving on into the 4th, Greenway struck a big blow with a long, time consuming drive capped by Thomas' 5th touchdown of the night on an 8 yard run, seemingly taking the air out of the Cienega crowd. Answering back with grit and heart were the Bobcats, using a well-balanced attack once again and a 5 yard TD by Robertson to even the game at 34 with less than 3 minutes remaining. Greenway would take over at their 20 on the following drive where Hodges hit Dave Hofmann cutting over the middle for 42 yards into Bobcat territory. Then the defense would come alive for Cienega for the 2nd week in a row when LB Dan Ryan intercepted a Hodges pass at the Cienega 38 with 1:05 on the clock putting the ball in the hands senior QB Mike Robertson. Managing the clock perfectly with short quick passes, Robertson was able to take a 5 yard keeper to the 1 with 3 seconds on the clock, bringing on the FG unit. With the game on the line and 19 yards separating the Bobcats from victory Greenway's Kenton Thomas came up with his biggest play of the night, breaking through the right side of Cienega's line coming up with the block as time expired.
The game would come down to its final 4 plays in OT. Cienega opened with possession from the Demon 10. Jesus Short would pound out a 4yard run to the six to get things rolling. Next play, Robertson to Burnett for six and a good PAT put Cienega up 41-34. Greenway went right for the end zone on their first play where Hodges was successful in finding Certo for a score. Not having attempted a kick all night, everyone in the stadium knew the game would be decided on very next play. The Demon offense had one last shot from 3 yards out. With single coverage Hodges lofted a jump ball to Kenton Thomas who once again rose to the occasion with a huge catch and the Greenway victory. 42-41 Greenway.
Bottom Line: Both teams played with great heart and great sportsmanship. It could have gone either way, truly a great game! Both teams are a forced to be reckoned with down the road, each with two good games against solid opponents under their belts. You can't say enough about the offensive fire power of each team and the big defensive plays they come up with when the game is on the line.
Game Balls: Greenway- Thomas 5 TDs of 46, 2, 93, 75, and 8 yards. Blocked FG and game winning 2pt conversion. Hodges 3 TD passing and well over 200 yards. Cienega- Robertson 3 TDs passing and 2 running. Jesus short was the work horse all night for the Bobcats on the ground with well over 100 yards and 20 carries.