Blogs / Features
Don KetchumStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
One second is enough as Marcos de Niza stuns ChaparralSep 1, 2012
By Don Ketchum
It was down to the last play. One second left in the game.
Tempe Marcos de Niza still had a chance.
And fate was kind to the Padres, more specifically, Josh Eckley.
The junior quarterback improvised, running when he was supposed to pass, but he got the job done, scampering for an 11-yard touchdown as time expired to give his team a heart-stopping 29-27 victory over host Scottsdale Chaparral on Friday night (Aug. 31).
Marcos de Niza is 2-0, and Chaparral is 0-2 for the first time in a long time.
Eckley made up for a pair of fumbles in the second half, the second leading to Chaparral’s go-ahead touchdown with 50.2 seconds left on a 20-yard run by Josh Aganon out of the Wildcat formation.
“I had to do it (make a big play) after the fumble,’’ said Eckley after being mobbed by his teammates just outside the back of the end zone.
“It was supposed to be a pass. I took my drop and bam – it (middle of the field) was wide open.’’
Eckley, who played backup quarterback a year ago, carried the ball 22 times for 90 yards and completed 10 of 23 passes for 168 yards.
Running back Mauriece Lee picked up 154 yards on 17 carries and scored a pair of TDs.
It is doubtful that Chaparral has seen a quick combination such as Eckley and Lee in quite some time.
“The boys work so hard, they deserve it,’’ Marcos de Niza coach Roy Lopez said of the victory. “We want to build on it.’’
Prior to the final play, half the Marcos de Niza sideline wanted to run a pass and the other wanted Eckley to run.
A pass was called, but all of that changed.
Lopez admitted that he “chewed Eckley out a little bit’’ after the fumble.
“I told him, “You’ve got to protect the ball,’ ’’ Lopez said.
“This is incredible. It is what the game is all about.’’
Dave Huffine nearly had his first victory as Chaparral’s new head coach, but it disappeared in an instant.
He started sophomore Sean Paul Brophy at quarterback, but later went to senior Brad Schencker, who has a bit more mobility.
Schencker ran for a 25-yard touchdown to tie the score at 7 after a scoreless first quarter. Both teams struggled with penalties in the early going.
Schencker rushed for 37 yards and completed 9 of 17 passes for 164 yards, including a pair of touchcowns. The second came in the second half and went for 49 yards to Tyler Whiley.
The quarterback gutted it out in the final moments after suffering a large gash near his elbow, with blood flowing. The medical staff wrapped it up and he kept going.