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AZPreps365 Cornerby AIA365.com Staff
Recap - Northwest Chr. School at Scottsdale Chr. AcademySep 8, 2012
For 3 1/2 quarters, it looked as though Scottsdale Christian Academy would be cruising to a third victory to open the season, as Northwest Christian School continued to struggle against a stout Eagle defense and the Crusaders' own miscues.
And then, it all changed in the blink of an eye.
Northwest Christian scored two touchdowns in the final six minutes of the game - the only two TDs allowed by the Eagles thus far this season - and pulled out a stunning 18-14 road victory over Scottsdale Christian Friday night. Senior quarterback Kyle Shipp found James Mosbrucker in the flat, and the senior receiver scampered 12 yards into the end zone for the go-ahead score with just 25 seconds left on the clock.
It looked as though the Crusaders' comeback hopes were dashed when Shipp had the ball stripped on a 4th and 7 scramble at his own 45 yard line with 2:14 to play. Preston Kalos recovered the fumble, and the Eagles were one first down from securing the win. But on 3rd down, SCA fumbled and Mosbrucker, who also starts at linebacker for NCS, pounced on the loose ball at his own 39 with 1:20 remaining.
With no timeouts left, Northwest Christian gained 24 yards on a pass to Mosbrucker, but then was stymied by an errant shotgun snap. Shipp had to fall on the football and then spike the ball on the next play to stop the clock with 45 ticks left. Facing 3rd and 18, Shipp found senior wingback Trevor Osborne, who had scored the first Crusader TD on a 9-yd strike from Shipp with 5:56 left in the quarter before catching a 2-point conversion pass. Osborne's 24-yard gain set up the winning TD pass two plays later.
Scottsdale Christian started the game by carving through the NCS defense on its first two drives. Senior running back Chaz Dudley reached the end zone on a 39 run on the Eagles' 4th play from scrimmage, and Zechariah Gatling notched a 15-yard TD run early in the second quarter to give SCA a 14-0 lead. Meanwhile, Northwest Christian managed just two first downs on its first three drives, and squandered an opportunity after an interception by senior linebacker Sammy Serwa gave the Crusaders the ball at Scottsdale Christian's 25 yard line. A touchdown pass to Osborne was called back due to a penalty, and Northwest Christian missed a field goal late in the first half.
Senior kicker Riley Fitzgerald got the Crusaders on the board in the third quarter with a 37 yard field goal. And Northwest Christian's defense found its swagger and kept the Eagles off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.
The Crusaders, ranked 18th in the state by MaxPreps, improve to 3-0 on the year, while Scottsdale Christian falls to 2-1. The Eagles travel to White River to face Alchesay next week, while NCS is back home next Friday to take on Phoenix Cortez.