The 10U Raiders used an impressive ground game to slowly pull away from the Broncos on Saturday morning. The final score was 41-12 but the game was in doubt early with the Raiders clinging to an 7-6 lead after the first quarter.
Melvin Kahn put the Raiders up 6-0 on a 12-yard rush and then Emilio Aranda hit Richard Santacruz for the extra point to make it 7-0. (Under American Youth Football rules, running or passing is worth one extra point while kicking a field goal after a touchdown is worth two points.)
The Broncos came right back and Justin Holguin ripped off a 32-yard dash to cut the lead down to 7-6 (extra point failed) to end the first quarter.
Tyriq Smith picked up 20 yards and then Khan added another 20-yard run to put the Raiders back in business. Aranda took the ball in from 3-yards out two plays later and the Raiders went up 14-6 with Khan running in the extra point.
The Broncos took the field but Smith stepped in front of a pass at the 32 and he ran the interception all the way back to put the Raiders up 20-6 (extra point failed). Smith added an 18-yard scoring run to give the Raiders a 27-6 lead at the half (Nathan Spivey ran in extra point).
Holguin added a 50-yard scoring run later in the game and he finished with a game-high 113 yards rushing but the Raiders kept coming with Smith finishing with 68 yards and two TDs and Khan added 61 yards and two TDS of his own. Julian Ortiz added a 2-yard scoring run.
Spivey blocked a punt deep in Bronco territory to set up Ortiz. Santacruz finished with 25 yards receiving and he caught two extra points.
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com