Resilient Bobcats outlast the stubborn Nighthawks in overtime

Serina Gutierrez – Vail, AZ

On the ninth Friday of the high school football season, a full crowd arrived at Cienega for what would be [probably] the game of the season. The 8-0 Cienega Bobcats take on the 6-2 Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks on home turf. Cienega, averaging about 46 points per game; and the Nighthawks, averaging about 33 points per game, would prove that they are definitely above average after tonight. On the night of Homecoming, Cienega did not have one empty seat in the house. Both sides of the field started the game with high energy and all players were ready for game time.


Terrell Huggins (#20) would get things started for the Bobcats by putting the first 7 points on the board. Within literally a 30 second time period, this game would have 1 touchdown come from each side. On the return, Ironwood’s David Phelps (#11) would take that ball 90 yards forward tying the score. Though, Terrell Hayward (#7) would repeat the same play and run the ball in from 90 yards away to regain the lead for his team. Looking like what would be a nonstop back-and-forth game, Cienega eventually stopped Ironwood in their tracks and forced them to punt. Jamarye Joiner (#11) would find teammate Rodney Rodgers (#23) for a 23 yard completion putting them at the 9 yard line. Though the team would have a bad snap almost fumbled, but no yards would be lost. Ezra Figueroa (#18) would then put 3 more points on the board for Cienega with a field goal. With a minute and a half left in the quarter, the Bobcats would regain possession after a Nighthawk punt. Joiner would find teammate Jerry White (#17) 32 yards down diving into the endzone (on coverage) for the team’s 3rd touchdown of the quarter.


Coming into the 2nd quarter, the Nighthawks would start with a punt. Geo Owens (#3) would not let-up on Ironwood, and definitely showing it by rushing the ball 55 yards in for his 1st touchdown of the game. Six and a half minutes later, Ironwood would retaliate with a touchdown of their own, ran in by Andrew Cook (#19). The Nighthawks were confident with so little time left in the 1st half that the Bobcats would not score again… think again. Cienega would get into the redzone, and Terrell Hayward (#7) would score his 2nd touchdown of the game with only 28.5 seconds left in the half. After being down 38-14 coming into the 3rd quarter, Ironwood decided that the 2nd half would be their half. Three minutes into the 3rd quarter, the Nighthawks put another 7 points on the board to start their comeback. Cienega’s Diego Rivas never lost hope in his team and stayed on the sidelines doing everything to keep his team pumped up. The beginning of the half was slow starting and very back-and-forth with possession. The Bobcats closed out the 3rd quarter with a field goal by Ezra Figueroa (#18).


The 4th quarter was alive for both teams! Ironwood got things started with a touchdown to try to rattle the Bobcats. With Cienega regaining possession, Ironwood’s defense was ready to dominate. Jadon Price (#7) recovered a fumble at the 25 yard line to give his team the ball back. Though, it would not seem fatal as the Nighthawks would punt 6 yards later. The Bobcats were ready to strike back and lock this game down. Ironwood- ready to stop them; and Andrew Cook (#19) would not dissapoint. In the 9th minute of the quarter, he would pull off a pick 6 putting his team 1 touchdown closer to the lead. Three injured Bobcats later, the Nighthawks would live up to their expectation. Chase Kotke (#27) would run the ball in from the 15 yard line to give his team the 42-41 lead with 2:44 left in the game. Everyone on Ironwood’s sideline was as pumped as they had been all night. It was clearly evident that the tables had turned and the momentum as well. The Nighthawks had also noticeably frustrated the sideline of the Bobcats. Though Cienega knew they were undefeated for a reason, and the dynamic duo of Joiner and White proved so. Joiner would find White for a 25 yard diving touchdown with 1:43 left in the game. The defining moment for Cienega would be Steven Harshman (#21) running the ball in for the 2 point conversion. With mere seconds left, Ironwood’s Andrew Cook (#19) would tie the game up with a 25 yard touchdown! With 2.4 seconds left in the game, Octavio Audry-Cobos (#30) would intercept the ball back for Ironwood, but Jamarye Joiner (#11) would do the job himself by intercepting the ball right back in the endzone to keep the score tied- overtime.


Now in overtime, Nick Brahler (#22) would rush the ball in to give his team the lead. The do-or-die moment to make the extra point, sadly became too much pressure for Ironwood as they missed the extra point to give them the full 7 points. Joiner would score the touchdown for Cienega himself and it would all be up to kicker Ezra Figueroa (#18) to make the extra point to win it. Palms sweating, hearts racing, and waiting on a snap… Figueroa’s foot would finally meet the ball perfectly and fly through the posts for the winning point. Remaining undefeated at 9-0, Cienega will host Mountain View next Friday at 7pm. Ironwood will host Sahuaro.

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