Losing their game the week before on the road, the Salt River Eagles were glad to be back at home to play their last one in front of the home crowd on October 7. The evening’s contest would be between the Salt River Eagles and the Ajo Red Raiders.
The first quarter started off with each team not allowing the other to score for the first half of the quarter. However, with 5:20 left on the clock, John Hill ran in his first touchdown of the night.
Speaking of Hill, he had eight carries in the first quarter, running for a total of 72 yards (and yes, that was all in the first quarter). Richie Marez tacked on another 31 yards in the first quarter, along with 12 from Trevor Waters.
Defensively, several Eagles were contributing, especially Daniel Lopez who had two solo tackles, and Jonathan Loring, who caused a fumble. Lloyd Lewis, Alfredo Porter-Scull, Waters, and Marez had solo tackles of their own also in the first quarter.
Up by a touchdown, Salt River continued to play well in the second quarter. Hill continued to run all over the field, this quarter, with an astounding 76 yards (for those keeping track, he now had 148 yards – and that was only in the first two quarters).
In those 76 yards, Hill was able to score another touchdown. Unfortunately, before he did, Ajo was able to score a touchdown of their own, along with another with less than a minute before half time.
Lewis had a great run during the second quarter, running 15 yards. He also did well defensively, having a total of three tackles in the second quarter, two of which were on his own. Marez continued to also have a good night defensively, tacking on three more solo tackles. On top of that, Geronimo Briones was able to get a sack shortly before the half.
Tied at the half, the Salt River Eagles were hungry for a win in front of their home crowd. Aaron Reyes was successfully able to land on the ball, getting the ball back after the Eagles kicked off. Despite great efforts by Hill (who tacked on an additional 18 yards in the third quarter, and a 30-yard completion from Waters to Marez, Salt River’s offense was unable to score a touchdown.
Waters also made some great plays defensively for Salt River during the third quarter, as he was able to get two solo tackles. Unfortunately, with Salt River fumbling the ball away on the two yard line, late in the third quarter, translated to the Red Raiders making a touchdown (and a two-point conversion). With a 1:27 left in the third quarter, Ajo was able to go up by eight.
With 6:56 seconds left in the game, Lewis caught a 10-yard pass from Reyes to score a touchdown, and tie the game, with a two-point conversion (also run in by Lewis). Lopez played great during the fourth quarter, running the ball eight times, for a total of 51 yards. Norris also had a great play with a 30-yard run. Waters also was able to move down 30 more yards down the field with his pass to Marez.
Defensively, Reyes and Lewis each had two more solo tackles. Reyes also caused a fumble, of which Marez recovered. The heartbreak though happened with less than 30 left in the game, as Ajo scored another touchdown (and two point conversion), which resulted in an Eagle loss.
On October 14, the Salt River Eagles were at home for the last game of the season in front of their home crowd. With a close loss, Salt River’s student athletes would have the week off from school (Fall Break) to prepare for their opponent Friday evening, the Mogollon Mustangs.
While the Salt River Eagles were not able to score any points in the first quarter, they were able to make some good offensive plays. In particular, Daniel Lopez was playing extremely well offensively, as he had nine short carries for a total of 20 yards. Richard Marez was able to make the best of two possessions himself, running for 35.
On the defensive side of the ball, Brandon Chiago and Lloyd Lewis each had a solo tackle. Robert Norris made a great pass deflection, and Marez threw himself on a fumbled ball, to maintain Eagle possession. Unfortunately, Salt River defense was not enough to prevent the Mustangs from putting up 38 points.
Defensively, four individual Eagles had solo tackles, Geronimo Briones, Jason Chiago, Lopez, and Marez. As a team, the defense worked a lot better in the second quarter, as Mogollon was only able to score about half as many touchdowns, putting up 16 more points.
On the offensive side of the ball, despite Salt River not scoring any points, Lloyd Lewis ran for 32 yards. Also, Trevor Waters threw to Robert Norris for a 25-yard completion.
In a 54-0 hole, Salt River still played with heart in the second half. Daniel Lopez continued to play well offensively, having four carries, and tacking on an additional 24 yards.
The big story was defense though, as Norris had two solo tackles, along with Lewis, J. Chiago, and Waters each adding one of their own. Lewis was also able to knock down a pass. On top of that, the Mustangs were only in the end zone once in the third quarter.
With 12 minutes left on the game clock, the Salt River Eagles 2011 football team took the field for the last time of the season. Lewis continued to battle hard on the defensive end, adding two more solo tackles, with contributions coming also from Norris and Waters each with another added to their stats. However, as a team, Salt River kept the Mustangs out of their endzone the entire quarter – the first all game.
Offensively, the highlight of the evening came from Lewis, who ran in the team’s lone touchdown, which did not occur until only 2:59 seconds remained of the game, and the season.
With only one senior on the team, the vast majority of the team will hopefully return next season, with another year of maturity added to their belts, and the experience of playing with a team, who had continuously gotten better, and learning from their mistakes.