Campo Verde continued its successful start to the 2013 season with a 31-8 win over Gilbert on Thursday night at Campo Verde. The Coyotes (4-0) led 17-0 at halftime and except for the third quarter controlled the game on both sides of the ball.
Campo Verde had limited opponents to an average of 6.3 points per game through their first three games. That defensive intensity continued Thursday as the Coyotes limited Gilbert to just two first downs in the first half and 45 yards of total offense.
“I have been saying it all year: Our defense is phenomenal. We just let them play, we don’t try to do anything too extravagant. We don’t have a lot of depth, but those first 13 kids play their butts off,” Campo Verde Coach Max Ragsdale said.
To start the second half the Campo Verde special teams unit stepped up as Alex Madrid took the kickoff back for a touchdown. It was the second touchdown of the game for Madrid who caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Luke Pineda in the second quarter.
Gilbert held its own in the third quarter and got on the board with a 16-yard touchdown pass by Tyler Stevenson to Alex Gerstner. Dylon Gillette ran in the two point conversion to cut the Coyotes lead to 24-8. On the next possession Gilbert forced and recovered a fumble and drove down to inside the Gilbert 20-yard line. On 4th-and-six the snap to Stevenson was high, Gillette was able to grab the ball in the air but he was tackled as soon as he started to move forward and the Tigers (0-3) turned it over on downs. On the next Campo Verde possession Gilbert once again recovered a Coyotes fumble and on their ensuing drive once again drove into Campo Verde territory. A fourth down pass from inside the Coyotes 30 yard line early in the fourth quarter was incomplete.
“We drove right down after that first fumble and couldn’t get a first down. That says it all. We’re banged up, we have seven starters out. We are not strong enough and deep enough to lose those guys and play well,” Gilbert coach Tim Rutt said.
Campo Verde added a 13 yard touchdown pass from Pineda to Jordan Fickas midway through the fourth quarter for the final margin of victory. Pineda finished the game 10-of-15 passing for 63 yards with two touchdowns and rushed the ball 15 times for 125 yards and a touchdown.
For Gilbert it was a terrible start but Coach Rutt saw some things in the second half that were encouraging: “In the second half we came out and played better, we played disciplined football and did our jobs. We played aggressively. I wish we would have done that in the first half.”
Campo Verde 31, Gilbert 8
First Downs: CV 14, Gilbert 9
Rushing: CV 29-177, Gilbert 24-63
Passing: CV 10-15-63-2-0, Gilbert 17-26-109-1-1
Fumbles-lost: CV 2-2, Gilbert 1-0
Penalties-yards: CV 7-53, Gilbert 9-85
Campo Verde 10 7 7 7 -- 31
Gilbert 0 0 8 0 -- 8
Campo Verde: Pineda 10 run (Wells kick)
Campo Verde: Wells 27 FG
Campo Verde: Madrid 6 pass from Pineda (Wells kick)
Campo Verde: Madrid kickoff return (Wells kick)
Gilbert: Gerstner 16 pass from Stevenson (Gillette run)
CV: Fickas 13 pass from Pineda (Wells kick)