Williams Field knew all about Campo Verde's stout defense heading into the first round of the Division III playoffs.
In Week 3, the Black Hawks won a 24-14 decision at Campo Verde, which was the most points given up all season by the Coyotes.
No. 5 Williams Field felt it again in Friday's first half when it failed to register a first down and accumulated only 20 yards of total offense, but found enough of a second-half groove for a 20-12 win.
“That defense over there is extremely tough," Williams Field coach Steve Campbell said. "It took our guys a little while to get used to what Campo Verde does. We played much better in the second half."
The Black Hawks (10-1), led 10-6 at halftime thanks to two long punt returns by Sean Schweichler. In the first quarter Schweichler returned his first punt of the game 45 yards up to the Campo Verde 15-yard line. The Coyotes (7-4) made their first big defensive stand of the game, holding Williams Field to a 25-yard field goal by Derek Gregson.
Campo would again punt to Schweichler after their following possession stalled, and the senior running back would take this one 65 yards for the touchdown.
“Early in the season Sean took a couple punts back for touchdowns and after that he maybe saw two more punts come his way all season," Campbell said. "Teams stopped kicking to him. People forget how good Sean is in that aspect. Our other returner is out right now. He saw his opportunity and he took advantage of it."
The Coyotes would get on the board in the second quarter on a 15-yard touchdown run by Luke Pineda. The extra point was blocked which turned out to make a big difference in the game. In the fourth quarter after the Black Hawks' first productive drive on offense stalled inside the Campo 10-yard line, Gregson hit a 24-yard field goal for a 13-6 Williams Field lead. It would remain a seven point Black Hawks advantage until Pineda scrabbled and found Darius Williams open at the 1 yard line for a 25-yard touchdown pass. After an encroachment penalty on the extra point attempt on Williams Field, Campo Verde coach Max Ragsdale decided to go for two and the lead.
“It was only a yard a half to go," Ragsadale said. "That’s why we get paid the big bucks. If we block the gap he (Pineda) is standing by himself in the end zone.”
The failed two-point conversion changed momentum and after the kickoff the first play from scrimmage resulted in a 75-yard touchdown pass from Jeddediah Fagg to Jordan Johnson for the final margin of victory.
The Black Hawks put the game away on an interception by Cole Patterson in the end zone with just under 20 seconds left. Williams Field will now have a second round match up with Peoria Liberty, which beat Paradise Valley.
“We don’t see teams from the west side very often," Campbell said. "But we have a connection with them because the first game ever at Williams Field High School was against them. It should be a good game and we are looking forward to it just due to that sentimental connection that we have always had with Liberty.”
For Campo Verde, Pineda left it all on the line in the final game of his high school career. The senior finished 18-of-28 passing for 217 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed the ball 25 times for 140 yards and a touchdown.
In just their second season of varsity football Campo Verde has now made it to the playoffs both seasons but is not satisfied.
“Two years varsity, two years playoffs," Ragsdale said. "We want more. Right now it hurts but we will get better.”
CV 0 6 0 6 -- 12
WF 10 0 0 10 -- 20
WF - Gregson 25 FG
WF - Schweichler 65 punt return (Gregson kick)
CV - Pineda 15 run (kick failed)
WF - Gregson 24 FG
CV - Williams 25 pass from Pineda (run failed)
WF - Johnson 75 pass from Fagg (Gregson kick)
First downs: CV 21; WF 6
Rushes-yards: CV 39-159; WF 22-80
Passing yards: CV - 217; WF 139
Comp-Att-Int: CV 18-28-1; WF 5-18-1
Fumbles-Lost: CV 1-1; WF 1-1
Penalties-Yards: CV 6-70; WF 12-91