This was a game that everyone looked at at the beginning of the season and thought, "This could be a great one." And the two teams didn't disappoint as there were plenty of fireworks on Halloween night.
Both teams got right to the scoring, Marcos first on a run by star QB Josh Eckley and Saguaro on a Luke Rubenzer to Christian Kirk pass. 7-6 Marcos as Saguaro missed their PAT.
Saguaro would add two more scores in the first quarter. Rubenzer hooked up with senior WR J.T. Nettleton on both scores and Saguaro looked firmly in command. 19-7 after 1.
The Padres remained persistent and got a much needed score after a 7 minute 15 play drive. RB Jacob Hernandez cut the lead to 19-14 with his short TD run.
While Marcos' drive went 7 minutes, Saguaro's next took less then 1. Kirk raced 80 yards for a score on the Sabercats' next drive. 26-14.
Marcos turned the ball over on downs and Saguaro went right back to work. Rubenzer found TE Brett Adams twice for 1st downs and Kirk raced in again, this time from 19 yards out to put Saguaro up 32-14.
But Marcos wasn't done. With 1:50 left in the half, Josh Eckley connected on 5 of his 6 passes including a TD to Logan Palmer with a few ticks left on the clock.
Halftime 32-21 Saguaro leading.
The teams traded scores in the 3rd quarter. Eckley to Layquan Herron plus a 2-point conversion for Marcos and a Rubenzer to Isaiah Bradley, PAT blocked, gave us a 38-29 game headed into the final stanza.
Marcos missed on opportunity in the beginning of the 4th, turning the ball over on downs inside the 20, but made up for it on their next drive. The defense forced a punt and Eckely led the Padres on another scoring drive to cut the Saguaro lead to one score.
Eckley's TD pass to Alex Kleinpeter cut the lead to 38-36.
Needing a score, Rubenzer hit Adams twice, the second one to the 2 yard line and Kirk punched the ball in from 2 yards out. 46-36.
Rubenzer ended any hopes of a comeback on the next drive, intercepting Eckley to end the game.
Final Saguaro 46 Marcos 36
Good back and forth game. Both teams will have their chances in the playoffs. Marcos needs to find a run game and Saguaro needs to cut down on the flags (10 for 105) and work on PATs, both could cost them in the playoffs.
J.T. Nettleton, Christian Kirk and Brett Adams were great for Saguaro but the game ball goes to QB Luke Rubenzer. He threw 4 TD passes and had an INT on defense.
Playoff edition of Friday Night Phenoms. It is win or go home…