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AZPreps365 Cornerby AIA365.com Staff
Apollo Beats Fairfax For Fifth Straight WinOct 21, 2012
Glendale Apollo continues to roll as the sixth-seeded Hawks cruised to a 56-20 win over 14th-seed Betty H. Fairfax in a Division II contest Friday in Laveen.
Apollo's (8-1) Braxton Nickerson got things going with a 92-yard return for a touchdown on the opening kickoff. A fumble on the extra point would result in a successful two-point conversion, making it 8-0.
Fairfax (6-3) would answer right back as Deylan Jones went 3-for-3 for 77 yards on the Stampede's opening drive, capping it off with a 40-yard TD toss to Derron Brown. Fairfax failed on its two-point try. Fairfax then took a 13-8 lead later in the opening quarter on a six-yard touchdown run by Brandon Sellers, who finished with 190 yards rushing and two scores. The junior also had 10 tackles, including four for loss.
After starting the game just 2-of-6 for 32 yards, Apollo junior quarterback Jordan Gungl would finish the half by going 4-of-6 for 89 yards and three touchdowns. Abe Mendivil had two of those scores, including a 17-yard TD grab at the end of the first quarter that put the Hawks up 14-13.
Nickerson had a 35-yard touchdown reception that pushed the score to 20-13 with 1:57 to go before halftime. A Jones fumble at the Stampede 25-yard line would setup Mendivil's second score and give Apollo a 28-13 advantage at the break.
Fairfax came out firing in the second half as Sellers burst up the middle, breaking several tackles and finding the end zone to make it 28-20. Sellers ran for 52 yards on the seven-play, 80-yard drive.
The Stampede just didn't have an answer for the Apollo offense in the second half. Jacob Garcia scored from four yards out to give Apollo a 35-20 lead as the Hawks found the end zone on every possession of the half before ending their final drive in victory formation.
Gungl ended 9-of-16 for 231 yards and four TDs for the Hawks, who have won five in-a-row and are headed to the playoffs for the fourth straight year, a feat accomplished just once in their 43-year history. Nico Bayless had 19 carries for 116 yards and a score, while Garcia added 86 yards and a TD on seven touches. The Hawks wrap up the regular season against Kellis (4-5).
Jones, coming off a five-interception performance at Cesar Chavez, finished 9-of-19 for 157 yards and a TD. He started the night 4-of-4 for 92 yards. Fairfax rushed for 231 yards as a team on 33 carries, led by Sellers.
The Stampede's playoff hopes could now be in jeopardy following their second straight loss. They are seeking a second postseason appearance in their brief four-year history but may need some help to get one of the 16 spots. Fairfax finishes the regular season at Independence (1-8).