The Scottsdale Community College defense was great for three quarters and just good enough in the fourth quarter as the Artichokes escaped with a 24-21 win over secondranked Dixie State in a Western States Football League game on Saturday at Scottsdale.
After allowing two fourth-quarter touchdowns, the Scottsdale defense put on the clamps when it needed most, halting a Dixie State drive at the 16-yard line with less than two minutes to go to preserve the win.
The Rebels threw for the end zone on a fourth-and-7 at the 16 and trailing 24-19, but the ball fell incomplete.
Scottsdale took a safety rather than punt the ball on its ensuing drive, so Dixie State had one final chance.
However, its Hail Mary try fell woefully short. Scottsdale was in control of the game from the outset.
The opportunistic defense forced four turnovers in the first quarter, turning into a 10-0 lead. One of the fumbles was a bad snap by Dixie State on its own 1-yard line.
The Artichokes pounced on it, and quarterback Ryan O’Hara scored one play later.
J.T. Deiderichs scored from a yard out to bring the Rebels to within 10-7, but two touchdowns pushed the lead to 17 points before the Dixie State comeback.
The Artichokes had good field position most of the game, mainly due to the play of the defense. Neither team could get much going offensively, with long pass plays accounting for most of the yardage.
The win moves Scottsdale to 2-1 in region and hands Dixie State its first loss of the year.
The Rebels never seemed comfortable in their offense until the fourth quarter, using four different signal-callers throughout the game.
MESA COMMUNITY COLLEGE 28, NEW MEXICO MILITARY INSTITUTE 14:
Colton Malone passed for one score and ran for another as Mesa Community College (2-1) defeated visiting New Mexico Military Institute, 28-14, Saturday at John Riggs Stadium.
Malone capped a 54-yard drive on the third series of the game when he connected with Kenny Mahone on a 15-yard scoring pass for a 7-0 lead.
Tim Hamett, a 135-pound speedster, returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to knot the score at 7-all.
Two Andrew Strickland field goals put Mesa ahead by six at halftime.
Malone tallied in the third period after Jeff McCraw recovered a fumble on the Bronco 2. Gilbert High School product Bobby Ili got his first touchdown as a Thunderbird in the final period before New Mexico (2-2) closed out the scoring.
Malone was 9-of-23 for 98 yards with two interceptions.