Thatcher football moves into 2A semifinal

GOODYEAR — Stop me if you’ve hard this one before. Thatcher football wins in the playoffs. This time believe it or not their passing game and defense is what led the way in a 21-7 win.

The Eagles faced the undefeated and #2 ranked Trivium Prep Crimson Knights on Friday. It was the first time Thatcher played on the road as the lower seed since 2013.

The Eagles started the scoring in the first quarter with a Mark Wren 5 yard out route to Kyle O’Donnal, who made his defender miss and tiptoed the sideline for a 44 yard touchdown with 1:43 on the clock.

Trivium Prep got their lone score with 10:22 to play in the first half after a muffed punt that the Crimson Knights recovered on the Thatcher 10 yard line. Three plays later the 2A’s leading rusher, David Marquez, scored from 2 yards out. He was held to just 60 yards on 28 carries on the night.

Thatcher executed a 2 minute drill to perfection just before the half and Wren kept an option around the right end from 6 yards out to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead into the locker room. Trivium Prep had just 6 yards of total offense at the break.

The 3rd quarter featured better defense than offense and neither team threatened to score. The Eagles put the game on ice with 11:03 to play in the game when Wren again found O’Donnal from 60 yards out for the score. Wren found O’Donnal 4 times on the night for 126 yards and two scores. Wren ended the night a perfect 5-5 for 137 yards.

The lone sore spot for Thatcher was 5 fumbles on the night. Two of them on offense and 3 on special teams.

Thatcher will now face Phoenix Christian for the 4th straight year in the playoffs on Saturday, November 23rd at 6pm at Arcadia High School. The Cougars got past St. Johns 27-20.

You can hear the game live on KATO 1230 AM or online by clicking here.