Most Viewed Stories
- Man who robbed Foothills bank sentenced to nearly 20 years in federal prison
- Police seek timeline of days leading up to woman's death
- Change of plea hearing delayed for ex-Yuma dancer
- New trial date set and plea agreement accepted in baseball bat murder case
- Man accused of trying to smuggle almost $1M worth of cocaine
Kofa drops Cibola, puts dent in Raiders' playoff hopes
Cibola sophomore Edgar Rios slowly walked to his bench with both hands covering the bottom half of his face.
The final buzzer sounded and reality had start to set in.
The Raiders' chances of qualifying for the Class 5A state playoffs took a hit as they fell to No. 4 Kofa 2-0 in a Gila Valley Region contest Friday at Raider Field.
“We needed this win. We had to beat them at least once this season,” senior captain Francisco Cosio said. “We tried our best, but almost doesn't count.”
Cibola (4-6 overall, 4-4 GVR) entered the contest No. 19 in the AIA Power Rankings. The top 16 teams qualify for the playoffs.
The Raiders' loss, however, wasn't for a lack of effort. They took Kofa's best shot and went into halftime with a scoreless tie.
Kofa (9-0 overall, 8-0 GVR) didn't break through until the 51st minute when Julio Mesa's soaring line drive kick from about 12 yards out slipped past a diving Christian Coronel and into the back right corner of the net.
Cosio had a pair of chances to send the game into overtime. His free kick from about 35 yards out was easily saved by goalkeeper Zach Garcia and his shot from about 20 yards out with less than two minutes remaining sailed over the crossbar.
Shortly thereafter, Josh Segura scored to ice the game for Kofa. Segura beat Coronel on the near post after Segura raced past the Cibola defense to receive a lead pass from Angel Figueroa on the left wing. It was Figueroa's second assist of the night.
“The guys came up and put forth a great effort,” Cibola coach Mike Fritz said. “As a coach, that's what you want to see every game.”
Kofa coach Jamie Nicewander added, “We knew coming here would be tougher than the first game because they are on their home field and they had nothing to lose. They could throw the kitchen sink.”
Even in the win, Nicewander was impressed with how Coronel held up considering Kofa had 11 corner kicks and 22 shots. Coronel had nine saves, two of which came via his legs.
“Their goalkeeper kept them in the game,” Nicewander said. “My goodness, he had some ridiculous saves.”
Coronel added, “It was a lot of guys in front of me, so I just extended my leg and I stopped it. I got to use all parts of my body to stop the ball.”
Despite the defeat, the Raiders might still have an opportunity to make the playoffs if they take care of business in their final two games. The Raiders host San Luis and Yuma High next week. The Sidewinders entered Friday's contest ranked No. 3 in the power rankings while the Criminals were 20th.