Chaparral v. Paradise Valley

Fourth-Quarter Comeback Powers Paradise Valley Past Chaparral

Paradise Valley stunned a homecoming crowd Friday night at Chaparral by scoring 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to overcome a 17-point deficit and take an important Desert Sky Region match-up, 35-31. The outcome leaves both teams at 7-2 with Paradise Valley 4-1 in the region and Chaparral 3-2. Both teams trail defending state champion Saguaro.

More significantly, the loss knocks Chaparral out of the top four in Power Points for Division 4A-1 and leaves the playoff picture for the Firebirds very unclear at best when a victory would have put them well on the road to opening post season play with two home games.

The winning touchdown for the Trojans came with just over four minutes left on a 7-yard, third down pass to the right side of the end zone from quarterback Grant O'Brien to wide receiver Johnny Galvez, a 5-foot-7 dynamo who earlier had kept alive the drive that ignited his team's comeback with a 12-yard reception on a fourth and 10 play at midfield.

Chaparral fought relentlessly in moving the ball on a final drive but saw its hopes end when tight end Brandon Martin was stopped 2-yards shy of a first down on a fourth and 15 play with a minute to go. The key defensive plays for Paradise Valley had come moments before when, first, Ryan Ramsey sacked Chaparral quarterback Spencer Stone for a 12-yard loss and then, on the next play, when David Godly flushed Stone out of the pocket and tackled him after a 3-yard gain.

Chaparral seemingly had the game in hand when star tailback Deveron Carr ran 16 yards to the 2 before easily taking it in on the next play as the third quarter came to an end. But then Galvez kept alive Paradise Valley's ensuing drive, which eventually ended on a 1-yard run for the score by Tyree Parker, the sensational sophomore tailback. Parker scored three touchdowns himself in the second half and ran 18 times for 147 yards. The previous play, Jake Brown had been stood up at the 1 on a huge hit by Chaparral star cornerback/wide receiver Michael Cummings, on a play that seemed to signify Chaparral's control of the situation even with the PV touchdown.

But throughout the fourth quarter, the Paradise Valley defense stiffened, and three minutes later, against a Chaparral defense that simply was on the field too long, Parker, took it up the middle 52-yards for a lighting score after a Firebird punt just beyond midfield.

It immediately got worse for the Firebirds when Jessie Harper forced a fumble on Chaparral's first play of the next series. Andrew Fajardo recovered for Paradise Valley at the Chaparral 10, and a little more than a minute later the Trojans converted on the winning score.

Earlier, Paradise Valley, down throughout, managed to stay within sight with two interceptions on long passes from Stone and on key runs by Parker, who had scored on a 19-yard run to make it 24-14 with 5:14 to go in the third quarter after Cummings had put Chaparral up by 18 with an 85-yard punt return with just under 10 minutes to play in the period.

Chaparral took a 17-6 lead at the half on touchdown passes from Stone to tight end Tyler Williams (26 yards) and Cummings (9 yards). Paradise Valley's points came on field goals from top-line kicker Danny Compton.

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