Phoenix — Following Thursday night’s 54-28 loss to Barry Goldwater, Flowing Wells head coach Brian Hook gathered the boys in the end zone for a post-game chat. The final score might not be the results they were hoping for, but coach Hook praised the kids for their continued fight throughout the entire game.
“I’m pleased that our kids battled and never quit,” Hook said. “They’re tough. I’m proud of them for not giving up and fighting towards the end.”
Flowing Wells defense started off the game strong, forcing Barry Goldwater to punt on the opening drive as they looked to establish the upper hand. Receiving the ball near midfield, the Cabs were able to capitalize on their field position. A 55-yard touchdown run from Josyah Monarrez gave Flowing Wells a 6-0 lead with 8:33 remaining in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs were able to block the extra point attempt.
The momentum was on the Caballeros side early on, as Goldwater fumbled the ball on the second snap of the drive. It was recovered by Jacob Nilson, giving Flowing Wells possession at its own 45-yard-line. The Cabs capped off the drive with a field goal attempt but it was no good, keeping the score at 6-0 with 2:01 remaining in the first quarter.
“Any time it’s a sudden change it’s motivating,” Hook said. “You just want to get back into the end zone, and you want to get your defense right back out there so you can do it again.”
On Goldwater’s next possession, things finally started clicking for the offense. After moving the chains down the field, the Bulldogs finished off the drive with a six-yard touchdown run from quarterback Brodie Drank. The extra point attempt was good, giving Goldwater the 7-6 lead with 10:34 left in the half.
Flowing Wells next possession found the Cabs facing a quick three and out, and instead of punting the ball opted to go for a punt fake. It was unsuccessful, though, and the Bulldogs took possession at their own 42-yard-line.
It would be a quick possession for the Bulldogs, though, as they needed only a couple plays to put up another touchdown. This time, it was James Dodson who took the ball 52 yards to extend the Bulldog lead. The extra point attempt was good, making it 14-6 with 8:06 remaining in the half.
Starting to utilize the passing game, quarterback Tyler Friedenberg completed four of his five pass attempts on the following drive for approximately 65 yards. Of those attempts, one included a touchdown pass to Jerry Ortiz, as well as a two-point conversion attempt on a pass to Jayden Simmons. With 6:37 left in the second quarter, it was tied at 14.
However, Goldwater would go on to put up 17 more points before going into the half. On their next possession, they countered quickly, finishing the drive with a 23-yard touchdown run from Carlos Molina before a good extra point made it 21-14.
The Bulldogs were able to strike again quickly with a pick-six by Dodson on Flowing Wells’ following drive. With another good extra point attempt, the score was now 28-14 with 2:21 remaining in the half.
However, another interception by Friedenberg would give the ball back to the Bulldogs, who would capitalize on the drive with a field goal as time expired to make it 31-14 at halftime.
Coming back out of the break, Flowing Wells was able to put up a touchdown on a pass from Friedenberg to Monarrez, as well as a good extra point to make it 31-21 with 10:28 left in the third.
It seemed as if the momentum was creeping back on their side, especially when Ortiz was able to snag an interception for the Cabs. However, offense struggled to do anything with it and ended up punting the ball back, shifting the game completely.
Eating away at the clock, the Bulldogs were able to finish the next drive with a one-yard touchdown run from Dylan Hayhurst. Opting to go for two, they were able to convert, making it 39-21 with 2:55 remaining in the third.
Eating away just a small amount of the clock before giving the ball back, the Bulldogs were able to put up one more touchdown in the third quarter on a run by Candido Flores and a good two-point conversion to make it 47-21.
“They ran their offense,” Hook said. “It’s rare. You don’t see it very often. Single-wing, and it’s just tough, hard-nose, old school football… You just gotta anchor down and get stops.”
Flowing Wells opened up the fourth quarter with a touchdown on a 15-yard run by Monarrez, followed by a good extra point attempt, making it 47-28 with 8:07 remaining. It would be too little too late, though, as the Bulldogs were able to put an exclamation point on the win with one final touchdown coming on a quarterback keeper from Drank and a good extra point, making the final score of the game 54-28.
Barry Goldwater might have been able to run away with the game, but Hook still has a positive takeaway from the match up.
“There’s a bunch of sparks and a bunch of good spots we can build on moving forward,” Hook said.
The Caballeros (1-4) will now prepare to face Ironwood Ridge (3-1) on Friday, Sept. 29 as they begin region play to close out the second half of the season. They’ll take advantage of what will be a three-day weekend due to their Thursday game before heading into next week.
“There’s nothing easy in our conference,” Hook said. “You have to win every play, win every quarter and keep going.”