This was not your typical Seton Catholic football game.
First, the No. 3-seeded Sentinels were not winning a football game convincingly. Second, they were actually behind in the fourth quarter.
Third, they had to make a comeback playing in the cold, rain and wind.
And yet it was no problem.
Quarterback Ryan Bresnahan hit wide receiver Matt Haggerty with a 15-yard touchdown pass with 1:22 left in the fourth quarter to give the Sentinels a 28-21 victory over Cottonwood Mingus in the Division IV quarterfinals Saturday afternoon and Apollo High School.
The Sentinels advance to the semifinals against No. 2 Show Low next Saturday at 3 p.m. at Phoenix Washington H.S.
Actually, Seton (11-1) needed to score two touchdowns in the final six minutes or its 2012 season would be over.
“This was a huge, huge win for us,” senior quarterback Ryan Bresnahan said. “This really showed some character. We usually blow out teams.”
Not the case Saturday. In fact, Bresnahan bailed the Sentinels out with one big play after another.
He was 18-of-23 passing for 275 yards and four touchdowns. His first went for 75 yards to running back Eric Probst. His third, which tied the game, 21-21, late in the fourth, went 53 yards to Daniel Garlid.
“They made one more big play than we did,” Mingus coach Bob Young said.
Seton coach Rex Bowser elected to start senior David Gesicki on Saturday and figured at some point he would play Bresnahan. Bresnahan, now with over 1,100 yards passing this season despite missing two-thirds of the season with a broken hand, came in and threw a touchdown pass on his second attempt. Gesicki, who has thrown for over 1,600 yards this season and 22 touchdowns, never returned.
“It was just one of those gut feelings and I went with it,” Bowser said.
Without any kind of running game to speak of, Seton relied on the pass and found it to be difficult against the stingy defense of the Marauders. Bowser thought his offensive line was outplayed for much of the game by the Mingus defensive front. Both Gesicki and Bresnahan were sacked several times.
The two teams were tied, 7-7 at the half before Seton took the second half kickoff and drove 90 yards in 10 plays. Bresnahan hit Haggerty with a 24-yard TD pass.
Mingus then tied the game late in the third when Tyler Herndon scored from 5-yards out. He led all rushers on Saturday with 55 yards on 18 carries
The Marauders (8-4) then took the lead with 7:22 left on a 20-yard run by Brennan Kitchen. Kitchen started up the middle, broke a couple of tackles, bounced outside, broke a couple more tackles and then found the end zone to put Mingus ahead, 21-14.
Mingus quarterback Luke Simmons had one of his best games of the season going 15-of-25 passing for 246 yards.
“Every time they needed a first down it seemed like they got it,” Bowser said.
Seton Catholic 28, Cottonwood Mingus 21
Mingus 7 0 7 7 - 21
Seton 0 7 7 14 - 28
First downs 14 12
Rushes-yards 21-22 38-117
Passing yards 246 301
Comp.-Att.-INT 15-25-2 22-30-0
Penalties 5-30 5-45
Fumbles-Lost 3-0 0-0
M – Brewer 37 pass from Simmons (Quidera kick)
S – Probst 74 pass from Bresnahan (Garlid kick)
S – Haggerty 24 pass from Bresnahan (Garlid kick)
M – Herndon 5 run (Quidera kick)
M – Kitchen 20 run (Quidera kick)
S – Garlid 53 pass from Bresnahan (Garlid kick)
S – Haggerty 15 pass from Bresnahan (Garlid kick)