Itzael Carbajal (6) and Ashton Haynes seal Tyler Evans to give Kiko Trejo the chance to run away. (Andy Morales / AZPreps365)
The “battle for Prince Road” was fought in the trenches where mistakes turned into opportunities for some and disappointments for a few, but Kiko Trejo used his 25 races on Thursday night to help Amphitheater secure a victory of return to Flowing. Well at home.
Down 12-0 with 3:50 left in the first quarter, Trejo scored four touchdowns on 245 yards rushing the rest of the way to fend off the Caballeros 27-24 to give the Panthers an early boost to start the season under. the bright lights of the Coaches for Charity Kickoff Classic.
The football season unfolded in a unique way this fall with the 8-person schools starting on Friday August 20, then the “small schools” followed a week later. Schools 4A, 5A and 6A had to wait until this week to enter the field for real and four games kicked off this phase on a rare Thursday night, including the one held at the Amphitheater, and 95 incredible games are scheduled for Friday night across the state. There is almost something for everyone this week.
The Coaches for Charity organization is helping organize several sporting events in southern Arizona, such as the Kickoff Classic and MLK Basketball Classic in January, to help raise money for scholarships, and teams are positioning themselves to be selected for this opportunity. Flowing Wells students Mimosa Van (Cross Country / Track) and Sammy Padilla (Football / Baseball) were awarded at half-time, as well as Kenya Amphitheater student athletes Beckwith (Spirit) and Nathaniel Carissimi (Football) . In addition, former Flowing Wells championship runner and current cross-country and track coach Ellen Mork-Villalobos has been recognized by the Caballeros and former University of Arizona softball star. Laura Espinoza-Watson has been recognized by the Panthers.
Watson’s nephew, Jacob Espinoza, is the Amphitheater’s first student and he finished with 56 rushing yards, including a 16-yard dash on a 3rd and 15 to put the game on the sidelines in the dying seconds. The Panther celebration that followed was in direct contrast to how the game began.
The Panthers took the opening practice back on a massive penalty followed by a fumble on their own 18 to put the Caballeros in place, but a fumble on the next game at the 13 ended that threat. This lost opportunity was forgiven after Carlos Quintero landed a pass from the Amphitheater on the next leg and traveled 76 yards to give Flowing Wells a 6-0 lead with 6:18 left in the quarter. .
Disaster hit the Panthers again with a nasty snap on a punt and Alex Madrid hit Jonathan Odell two games later from seven yards to make it 12-0. Opportunities lost on extra points would also come back to haunt the Caballeros.
Trejo scored the first of his three touchdowns on the next down and his 43-yard run reduced the lead to 12-7 seconds in the second quarter. A fake Caballeros punt gave the Panthers a great field position, but Angel Perez had the second interception of the night for Flowing Wells, but the Caballeros kicked again a few plays later.
Trejo scored four yards later in the quarter to make it 13-12 Amphitheater at halftime. The Caballeros missed a field goal attempt to open the third quarter and Trejo ran the next play for 80 yards to give Amphitheater a 20-12 lead.
Flowing Wells responded with a goal push to cut things off again with Madrid hitting the goal with 4:32 left in the third. Another missed opportunity on the extra point made 20-18 Amphitheater.
Trejo scored again from three yards to give the Panthers a 27-18 lead with 7:24 left in the game and Chris Martinez hit Quintero on a 36-yard play to set up a short scoring throw to Odell. to reduce the amphitheater’s lead to 27-24 with 3:28 left, but the Panthers managed to run the rest of the time.
Flowing Wells is visiting Surprise to play Willow Canyon next week and Amphitheater will host Sahuarita (0-1). There won’t be an automatic playoff spot this year in ranks 4A through 6A, so teams need to earn and collect power points to stay alive. The Panthers have a very favorable schedule the rest of the way and could, in theory, lead the table if the team plays one game at a time with Flowing Wells on the sidelines, but the Caballeros need to find a way to take advantage of the opportunities. who escaped them in the amphitheater.
(Chris Martinez / Andy Morales / AZPreps365)