This was not the way Seton Catholic had hoped the postseason would go.
The Sentinels’ season came to an end Friday as No. 8 seed Goodyear Desert Edge held on for a 35-27 first-round victory over No. 9 Seton in the 4A Division II playoffs.
The host Scorpions were all over Seton from the very beginning and the Sentinels were never able to recover. Surrendering 28 points in the first 14 minutes of the football game was too much to overcome.
“We weren’t ready to go in the beginning,” Seton quarterback Anthony Wallace said.
An interception, a fumble on a kickoff return and a blocked punt hurt Seton early as Desert Edge converted the turnovers into touchdowns. While the Sentinels offense was slow to start, they needed the defense to at least slow down the Scorpions. It didn’t happen with early turnovers setting the tone for the football game.
For their efforts this season, the Sentinels finished 5-7. Desert Edge (9-2) moves on to next week’s quarterfinals against No. 1 Glendale Cactus.
What was looking like a comfortable victory for the Scorpions got tense late in the game after the Sentinels dominated the second half.
Because Desert Edge took away the deep passing routes, Wallace relied on short passes to move the Sentinels down the field. He finished 34-of-50 passing for 280 yards and three touchdowns.
“It seems like teams late in the year were doing that to us,” Wallace said. “It took us some time figure out what we were doing.”
Trailing 35-7, Seton scored the final 20 points after halftime, with Wallace throwing touchdowns passes to Adam Engelbert and Andy Madrick. Eric Probst added a 2-yard touchdown run.
Setting up many of the scores was receiver Andrew Gillespie, who had 10 catches for 115 yards.
“We’re not the biggest guys or the fastest, but we’re not going to give up,” Wallace said. “That is what we do.”
Desert Edge scored on its first four possessions and only the first touchdown came after a lengthy drive. Sophomore Kyle Woolard scored on a 20-yard run to cap a 13-play, 61-yard drive.
The score quickly went to 14-0 for Desert Edge after the Scorpions recovered the football on the ensuing kickoff. Danell Miles scored on a 5-yard run for that touchown. Miles followed that up with a 2-yard touchdown run after a blocked punt ended up inside the Seton 5-yard line.
Miles finished with 114 yards on 12 carries and Shane Simmons added 105 yards on four carries. His 85-yard toucndown run early in the second put Desert Edge up 28-0. In all, the Scorpions rushed for 292 yards.
The Sentinels finally got on the scoreboard late in the second quarter with a 14-yard pass play from Wallace to Madrick.