The Maryvale Panthers had a happy homecoming night as they used big plays to beat the Ironwood Eagles 56-42.
The Panthers used just three plays to get the scoring going as big Jermaine Williams rumbled 48 yards up the middle for the Panther's first score. Maryvale needed just another 5 plays for Ronald Huckaby to score from 15-yards. Deyon Bowser then picked off an Ironwood pass and it was just another three plays before he ran 80-yards for another touchdown. First quarter ended Maryvale up 20-0 over a stunned Ironwood team.
The second quarter looked like Ironwood had gotten the train back on the tracks as QB Luke Bakemeire connected with Eric Hagg for a 30-yard touch down pass to cut the score to 20-7. But the Panther offense again did not waste time and in three plays, Jermaine Williams was in the end zone. QB Oscar Navarro added the two-point conversion and Panthers were up 28-7. Navarro ran in from two yards out on the Panthers' next possession to push the score to 35-7. The never say die Eagles put together a long drive towards the end of the half and QB Luke Bakemeire pushed in from one yard out to make the score 35-14 at half.
In the second half the Eagles out scored the Panthers but could never make up the difference of the first half. Luke Bakemeire was 3 of 4 on their first possession of the half and behind solid running by all his backs; Danny Cruz, Tyrell Grant-Johnson and Leonard Jackson, Ironwood had a sharp drive that led to a TD by Bakemeire. 35-20. Not to be out done Maryvale came back with a long drive. The threat of Huckaby on the run led to Robert Allen getting open behind the defense to catch a pass from Oscar Navarro. 42-21. After trading punts the Panthers went back to the formula and Navarro hit Allen again. 48-21 as the fourth quarter was about to start.
Ironwood would not lie down and let Maryvale go to the Homecoming Dance. Bakemeire spread the ball around to all his backs and on 4th and goal finally hit Tyrell Grant-Johnson with a 5-yard touchdown pass. 48-28.
Ironwood was successful with an onsides kick but quickly turned the ball over on a fumble deep in the red zone. Navarro wasted little time and hit Allen again for a 90-yard touchdown pass. 56-28. Off to the dance? Not so quick. Speedy Leonard Jackson took the kick-off 95 yards for a touch down. 56-35. The onsides kick was covered by Maryvale but they soon fumbled. Starting deep in his own territory, Ironwood back up QB Jake Long moved the team down the field. He was 2 of 2 passing and found Eric Hagg in the end zone for a touchdown. 56-42.
The onsides was covered by Maryvale and with 1:26 left they ran the clock out and were able to go to the dance.
Game Balls: The Oscar Navarro to Robert Allen connection. It was there all night. It was set up by the speed running of Huckaby and none of it would have happened if not for the O-Line. Game ball to Ironwood for not giving in. They got behind early, kept their composure and were just a series away from getting back in the game.
Bottom Line: Ironwood has a good team. Big plays all night are what stopped them. Offense was able to move the ball but could not score as quickly and Maryvale.
Maryvale is all about the big play. Their longest series of the night was 9 plays. They have a fast D. They need to keep their composure and not make stupid penalties.