Thatcher advances; Safford and Morenci fall in quarterfinals

The Thatcher Eagles advanced to the 2A State Semi-finals with a dominating 50-6 win over the Benson Bobcats. It was the 2nd win over Benson for the Eagles this season. In both contests Thatcher’s defense held Benson to just 6 points. This will be the 3rd straight semi-final appearance for Thatcher.

The top seeded Eagles will match up with #5 Phoenix Christian who beat Morenci 27-14 last night on the hill. Morenci’s defense was in full force early on in the game leading 14-7 and limiting PC’s dynamic running back Malik Taylor. It was a difference scenario in the 2nd half though as the Cougars opened it up on offense and powered past the Wildcats.

This will be the 3rd time in the last 3 years that Thatcher and PC will meet in the 2A Playoffs. Thatcher has dominated the playoff series. They beat PC 40-14 in last year’s semi-final meeting and 2016 Thatcher won 52-6 in the quarterfinals. The next meeting is Saturday at 6pm at Chaparral High School. You can hear the game live on KATO 1230 AM or online by clicking here.

The Safford Bulldogs were making their first quarterfinal appearance since 2014. They had the daunting task of traveling across the entire state to take on the Yuma Catholic Shamrocks.

The Bulldogs started out strong with 2 long rushing touchdowns by CJ Scrivner to take an early 14-0 lead. The mood changed instantly though when QB Jerrick Abizo didn’t get up after a short run on the Dogs next possession. He was diagnosed with a broken leg and dislocated ankle and obviously didn’t return. The Shamrocks took advantage of the rattled Bulldogs to take a 25-14 lead at halftime.

Safford had several chances in the second half but the Shamrocks defense forced 4 interceptions and returned two of them for touchdowns. YC’s JR Henderson showed of his athletic ability to the tune of 235 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Shamrocks threw for 355 yards total. The Dogs added a Sam Tobias run and a Nate Willms catch in the 4th quarter but it wasn’t nearly enough and YC advances with the 65-28 win.

Other playoff scores:

#7 St. Johns 47 #2 Trivium Prep 7

#3 Round Valley 49  #6 Arizona Lutheran 7

#1 Northwest Christian 35 #9 Benjamin Franklin 7

#6 Sabino 30 #3 Snowflake 14

#5 Valley Christian 28 #4 Page 22