Sports Stories

It was no blowout by 52, or even 22, points, but Sedona Red Rock High School’s Friday, Sept. 3, 16-14 home loss to Chino Valley High School didn’t hurt any less.

“We’re sick of losing,” Scorpions head coach John Bradshaw said after his second straight home loss to start his second season. “We knew with the lack of players to start the season we were going to have a rough start, [but] it really came down to special teams play.”

A week after the Scorpions opened their season with a 22-0 home loss, and rival Camp Verde High School lost, 52-0, at Chino Valley, SRRHS had no answer for the game-winning Cougar field goal that slipped just inside the left upright with 2:24 to play.

“We did about as good as we could do with what we had,” said Bradshaw, who came into the game without the services of senior wide receiver Luke Doerner and junior linebacker James Suarez. “Those are two big hits, especially on offense. To win, we’ve got to have all hands on deck, and we didn’t.”

Down 7-0 at halftime, the Scorpions stormed out of the locker room to score two touchdowns and own the first 15 minutes of the second half — only to see control of the game swing back to the Cougars two downs from the score that would have iced them.

With less than seven minutes to play, up 14-7, a hobbled senior quarterback Chas Rescigno was hit as he rolled out from the Cougars’ 16-yard-line. The ball fell right into the hands of Chino junior Brian Rodriguez for the interception that would lead to a 42-yard touchdown run less than two minutes later.

“They needed to pull out all their stops to beat us,” Bradshaw said. “We couldn’t pull out all our stops. Chas couldn’t move.”

Senior Xavier Turnbull came up from his linebacker position to stuff the two-point conversion run two yards short with 5:21 to play, but Chino Valley had momentum it would not relinquish.

The following kickoff, the Cougars successfully recovered their second onside kick of the game, and Rodriguez would follow up that feat less than three minutes later with his 32-yard boot.

“That drives us crazy when we can’t pick those up,” Bradshaw said. “We’ve won games that way before.”

Defense kept the game within one score in the first half, with the Scorpions defense holding Chino’s senior triple-threat quarterback, Josh Fisher, to 100 yards on the ground and through the air total.

“We knew we had to contain the quarterback to win this game,” Bradshaw said. “A couple blown assignments, but overall, the defense played well.”

Senior Dylan Davis forced a Fisher fumble at the Scorpions 16 to preserve a scoreless first quarter, and junior Javier Pacheco smothered a 37-yard field goal attempt early in the third quarter.

Nearly halfway through the quarter, Pacheco, back at running back, completed his only pass of the game 45 yards off the halfback option to fellow junior Branaghan Cunningham.

The next play, Pacheco would move the pile a yard into the end zone for the Scorpions’ first score of the season.

After allowing one Cougars first down on the subsequent possession, SRRHS forced a punt and drove 31 yards before Rescigno found senior Swedish exchange student Daniel Bouvin in the slot.

Bouvin caught the pass and ran 44 yards straight into the end zone, untouched, to give the Scorpions their first lead of the fall on the first play of the fourth quarter.

For more photos, please see the Wednesday, Sept. 7, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.


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