AWC football tops Eastern; soccer loses at Pima
Eastern Arizona was able to control the tempo of the game Saturday against Arizona Western, using its triple-option offense to dominate the clock.
But it wasn’t enough to stop the Matadors, as AWC forced the turnovers and made the stands when it needed in a 20-6 win in Thatcher.
The Gila Monsters (2-3 overall, 0-3 Western States Football League) started the game with two long drives. After a three-and-out by the Matadors (4-0, 3-0) to start the game, Eastern mounted a 14-play drive but had to settle for a field goal.
Another three-and-out for AWC led to another long drive for the Monsters. Eastern quarterback DeRon Thompson fumbled into the end zone and Mike Dallas came up with the recovery.
That changed the momentum as it was the Matadors turn to impose their style of play, scoring touchdowns on their next two possession — the first on a 6-yard shovel pass from Tanner McEvoy to Emmanuel Bibbs, the second on a 35-yard reception by Ambles, falling to the ground but holding on to the ball with 5:42 left.
Ambles had seven receptions for 127 yards, while Bibbs had five for 44 as McEvoy’s top targets. The freshman quarterback completed 17 of 26 passes for 225 yards and threw an interception to go with two touchdowns. AWC outgained the Gila Monsters 346-230.
Eastern drew to within a touchdown with a field goal in the closing minute of the third quarter. The Gila Monsters embarked on a long drive, but again ended up scoreless. The Matadors followed with a 62-yard touchdown run by J.C. Baker with 3:34 left — the first carry of the game for the Yuma High graduate — to go up two scores.
A week after playing nearly 3-1/2 hours in a 63-38 win over Scottsdale, the win over Eastern took less than 2-1/2 hours (2:24).
AWC suffers another late collapse
Despite a brief respite from late disaster in a shutout win on Thursday, the Arizona Western soccer team squandered a two-goal lead in a 4-3 loss at Pima Saturday.
First half goals by Julio Castillo, Donal Landrum and Erik Lunzanilla — all within a span of 11 minutes — put the Matadors up 3-1 going into the break. But Pima answered with three goals — also in an 11-minute span, capped by Roberto Zatarain’s game winner — as the Aztecs (7-4-2) notched the win over the Matadors (10-3).
Last week, the Matadors had a pair of rough second halves against Yavapai and Chandler-Gilbert, giving up seven total goals. They lost to the Roughriders but beat the Coyotes. On Thursday, they got a complete effort in a shutout win over Glendale.
The Matadors head to GateWay for an afternoon game Tuesday.