Cave Creek Cactus Shadows’ second half comeback was nearly complete, but one errant throw ended the Falcons’ chances.
Phoenix Shadow Mountain defensive back Richard Garcia made the play of the game, intercepting Cactus Shadows quarterback Dylan Classan with under a minute left in the Matadors’ 21-18 4A Division I nonregion win at Shadow Mountain.
Classan was leading an impressive two-minute drive for a tying or go-ahead score when he threw to a receiver running an out route. Garcia read the route and got the jump on the receiver to make the deciding play.
The Falcons trailed 7-5 at halftime as their offense struggled. When the teams returned from the locker room, the Matadors took control of the game. They scored two quick touchdowns, one on a 57-yard run by Giancarlo Dale, and the other on a 15-yard pass from Darryn Cook-Kelley to Matt Farney.
Trailing 21-5 midway through the third quarter, the Falcons offense finally started to click. Classan, a sophomore, completed 12 of 20 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown in the second half.
Coach Chad DeGrenier credited his sophomores on the offensive side for the pickup.
“Honestly, the sophomores stepped up, we finally started to play and put it together,” DeGrenier said.