Don't let anyone kid you talent wins football games and that was the case Friday night as a flat #4 seeded Marcos de Niza out ran a scrappy #13 seeded Central Bobcat squad 46-21. On the first series of the game, Central served notice that they would not lay down for the home squad as they smartly marched down the field mixing run and pass. Junior Hi-c Scott had a nice run that later set up his touchdown catch on a skinny post with 8:56 left in the first quarter.
After an initial three and out, the Padres gathered themselves and worked the ball using the significant skills of junior running back Antony Shivers and do it all senior Ramon Abreu. Abreu, in typical fashion, had the key play of the drive when on a boot left pass he caught the ball, broke tackles and converted a 3rd and 15 getting inside the Bobcat 20, eventually setting up a short Dominic Sotelo touchdown run with 1:59 in the first quarter. The PAT failed, making the score 7-6 Central.
In the second quarter, after a muffed Padres attempted punt return, Central threatened inside the Padre 20. A strong defensive series by Marcos' headed by Roy Garcia from the interior line, forced a fourth and one in which the Padres held. Soon, following the formula of the earlier drive, Shivers and Abreu worked the ball down the field with multiple nice runs. Eventually, on first and goal from the five, Abreu ran it in. This time the PAT was good, making the score 13-7 with 4:40 left in the half. Quickly, Marcos added another score, dialing up a punt block that was successful as Aaron Fuller got his hand on the kick and Matt Shahin recovered and ran it in. A hard fought first half now sat at 20-7 with the home team in the lead.
With his former coaches in attendance, Marcos Head Coach Roy Lopez must have gently reminded his charges at half about the necessity of playing hard. On the opening kick of the second half, Shahin took the ball to the house, making the score 26-7. Sensing the opportunity to put this one away, the Padre offensive staff called up a pass and senior QB Zach Schira delivered, hitting Tevin Newell in stride, getting the ball to the Bobcat 21. Newell would cap the drive, going up high on fourth and goal from the six yard line to bring down a touchdown catch. PAT good, 33-7 Padres.
To their credit, Central mounted a very nice drive, running at the Marcos D and mixing in timely passes. Eventually the Bobcats scored on a hard banging run by Jaleel Tenner from 12 yards out. Converting a two point try, the score was 33-15.
Staying on script, Abreu and Shivers moved the ball against an increasingly tired Bobcat D moving to inside the 15, when on a sharp draw play, senior Isaac Ramirez popped for a 14 yard score. PAT good, 40-21. Continuing to fight, Central hits on a long pass play and then gets a score on a slick slant to senior Johnny Hodges. The Bobcats then manage to recover the onsides kick, but they can't convert, turning the ball over on downs. For the third time on the night, Matt Shahin of Marcos hits a big play, going up the gut for a 79 yard score, making the final 46-21 for the Padres.
Bottomline: Even with star receiver Justin Rodriguez not playing, Marcos had more than enough speed and firepower to overcome their uninspired effort. Central, to their credit, played hard, although outmatched. Marcos will need to tighten it up this week as they take on a Sunnyside squad known for hardnosed football.