Scottsdale Chaparral played like it had something to prove on Friday night. Chaparral scored on its first five possessions (eight of its first nine) and rolled to a 57-12 victory over visiting Phoenix Shadow Mountain in a 4A Desert Sky Region game.
The Firebirds threatened to break 60 points with a little more than a minute to play, but reserve quarterback Alex Holmes took a knee at the Matadors’ 5-yard line.
It was an important win for the Firebirds (7-1 overall, 3-1 region) after last week’s 21-0 loss to region-leading and defending state champion Scottsdale Saguaro.
“We are a frustrated football team after last week,” Chaparral Coach Charlie Ragle said. “You could see how these guys answered the challenge. We felt like we needed to get back on the winning track and that we had something to prove, and the score is indicative of that.”
Chaparral quarterback Spencer Stone led the way, lighting up the first half by completing his first six passes for 199 yards, two touchdowns of 50 and 58 yards and a two-point conversion.
Junior running back Dwayne Garrett opened the second half with a 96-yard kickoff return and scored three touchdowns in the contest.
Meanwhile, the Firebirds defense punished the Matadors (2-6, 0-5), sacking starter Chaz Cronovich four times in the game and holding the offense to just 38 yards rushing and 46 passing before halftime.
Defensive back Joe Zurek intercepted Cronovich’s fifth pass of the night and raced 21 yards for one of Chaparral’s four first-quarter scores.
“It was important for our team to have a good game tonight,” Ragle said. “Everybody has written us off. They said that we are not the second-best team in the state. These kids have been challenged all week, and I’m proud of them for the way they bounced back.”
Shadow Mountain rebounded late in the game, as well.
After Holmes took the knee, reserve quarterback Daniel Snyder capped a 95-yard scoring drive with a 70-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Erwin Jones, putting the Matadors on the scoreboard with 1:20 to play.
Chaparral fumbled the ball away on its next possession, giving Shadow Mountain possession with 1:12 left on the clock.
Snyder struck again, this time hitting senior tight end Coy Dahl for a 26-yard score with 18.4 seconds to go.