Playoff implications and possibly a region title were at stake tonight as Cactus and Paradise Valley duked it out at PV.
PV struck first. On their second drive big RB Tyree Parker raced 68 yards off the left side to paydirt. 7-0 PV early. This was after Cactus marched the ball down inside the 20 but came away with no points after going for it on 4th down.
Again Cactus marched down the field and came away with no points. They got the ball in great field position (43 yard line) and again got in scoring position. This time they missed a 37 yard field goal.
It looked as though PV was going to capitalize but they made an error of their own. Moving the ball down to the Cactus 6 yard line, the Trojans fumbled the ball away. The Cactus offense went to work. QB Brody Ray made several nice passes on separate 3rd downs to keep the chains moving. The Cobras got to midfield and Ray scampered 42 yards for the first of what would be four TDs on the night. 7-7.
The Cactus defense tightened up, forcing a punt that was returned to the 47. Again with great field position, the Cobras continued to pound the rock, using RB Allan Woods and Ray on read option plays. Ray punched it in from 9 yards out and Cactus took a 14-7 lead into the half.
It took Cactus all of two plays to get back on the board in the 2nd half. Ray scored on the second play from scrimmage on a 56 yard run. 21-7.
PV did not just lay down though. The Trojans came out throwing the rock. QB Kevin Spain hit Joe Sabye for a first down and Tyree Parker on a pass that moved the ball down to the 22 yard line. Parker scored two plays later from 12 yards out. 21-14 Cactus.
This would be PV's last score. On the next drive, Cactus marched methodically down the field, using Woods and Ray to keep the chain moving. Ray punched it in from a few yards for his fourth TD of the night.
Allan Woods added another score late in the 3rd to make it 35-14, which would be the final as neither team got on the baord in the 4th.
Cactus will be tough to beat. Woods is the real deal and as we saw tonight, when teams try to focus on him, Brody Ray can be dangerous on the ground or through the air. They are big on both sides of the ball, play good defense, don't turn the ball over or commit many penalties.
Even with four losses, PV is going to be a tough draw. I wouldn't want to see them in the first round. Parker and Jake Brown are horses. Spain can make all of the throws but doesn't have the speedy receivers he had last year.
Cactus QB Brody Ray's four TDs makes this an easy call.