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Friday Night Flashback (Week 9)
After Yuma High's 13-6 win against Kofa at Doan Field, the Kings players and coaches were immediately escorted by Yuma Police Department off the field and straight to the waiting buses on the north side of the school.
On Thursday, Yuma High running back Arturo Vargas was stabbed on the way to practice. He went to Yuma Regional Medical Center and was released, but was unable to play Friday. YPD has not released a motive and the attacker is still at large.
Both Yuma High coach Curt Weber and Kofa coach John Blabe said they were pleased with how their players handled the situation.
"I had a good feeling all day with them," Weber said. "There wasn't any messing around. They were going to class. They were pretty focused. ... That's just eliminating all the emotional garbage from yesterday and all the stuff that goes along with this game. There's a lot of stuff that goes along with this game."
Blabe agreed with his counterpart.
"The whole thing was handled well," Blabe said. "The kids behaved well. Yuma PD and secrurity was great. It went off without incident. I didn't seen anything. There was a lot of, what do you call it, Twitter action during the game. But everybody handled it well."
Rollin' to a win
Gila Ridge found a way to stop the running game of Cibola.
It seemed all night that Raider quarterback Lucky Arvizo Jr. could roll out – to the left or right – and deliver a strike on an out pattern.
"Those were there all night," Cibola wide receiver Michael Decorse-Hall said. "The deep balls, those were a little tough, but the outs and the short, mid-range routes were open all night. (Arvizo Jr.) was throwing real accurate balls and getting to us in space and we were trying to just trying to make the most of it."
Arvizo Jr. finished 20 for 28 with 241 yards – including 11 passes between 10 and 17 yards.
Several of them came on crucial third downs that Arvizo Jr. delivered right into the hands of the receivers.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Yuma High attempted just four passes all night against Kofa, completing just one pass for negative-3 yards. They were outgained 245-157 by the Kings, who had 87 yards in penalties.
PLAYER OF THE NIGHT
Score one for the kicker.
Cibola placekicker Edgar Gastelum was 3-for-3 on field goals against rival Gila Ridge, including one in the fourth quarter that gave the Raiders a two-possession lead. That was crucial because Gila Ridge answered with a long touchdown run but couldn't get any closer.
The Raider defense sure must like Gastelum, because four out of his five kickoffs were touchbacks – meaning Gila Ridge, for the most part, started 80 yards from the end zone.
"Edgar came in and got some field goals that were obviously the difference in the game," Cibola coach Lucky Arvizo Sr. said.
TWEETS OF THE NIGHT
A weekly look at what the twitterverse is saying about Yuma football.
The first comes from Yuma High after its win over Kofa.
"remind kofa who really owns doan field #yhs"
@MattArellano06, 9:28 p.m., Friday
The second comes from Kofa after its loss.
"I love my team. I wouldn't trade a single player from Kofa for anything #kingspride"
@Troyskiee, 11:12 p.m., Friday
The final comes about Cibola's kicker, Gastelum.
"Cibola's kicker is a beast! #NFLBound"
@simon_nguyen_, 9:46 p.m., Friday
Movies have spoiled us.
Gila Ridge got the ball back on their own 19-yard line after an interception by Randall Dorsey with just less than four minutes left in the game.
The last time the Hawks had the ball, Bobby Mena ripped off an 80-yard touchdown run to cut the game to 16-14.
It had all the makings of an episode of "Friday Night Lights" where Gila Ridge, the underdog against the Cibola Raiders, would drive down and make a dramatic game-winning field goal or touchdown.
But this ain't Hollywood.
Instead, the Cibola defense did what the Cibola defense did all night – prevent Gila Ridge of getting much of anything on offense. Instead of a dramatic ending where the underdog manages to sneak away with a crazy home victory, the favorite won their fifth straight city title.
It was still a dramatic game, but Hollywood would probably pass on the script.
There's good way to express rivalries, and there's bad ways.
I think we all know the bad ways. In my opinion, a little harmless smack talk is a good way.
Kofa engaged a little smack talk before the game with Yuma High. Nothing bad, just a "we own Doan" mantra. That's confidence that's just the right distance from arrogance. It lets the Criminals prove them wrong. And that's what Yuma High did, and that led to some more (mostly) mild smack talking back in Kofa's direction.
People get scared of trash talk because of the slippery-slope potential of escalating into something more, a scare that after Thursday is somewhat warranted. But usually "escalation" – especially with teenagers on Twitter – is naughty words.
Me, I have more faith in people – even with everything that happened Thursday. Trash talking is – or at least should be and usual is – harmless posturing. Kofa enjoyed it this year, and next year the Criminals will have their chance.
AROUND THE STATE
The big score at Division V was No. 4 Joy Christian knocking off No. 1 Thatcher, 35-26.
Thatcher was the only team to beat No. 2 Yuma Catholic, which could potentially rise to No. 1 in Arizona Interscholastic Association Power Points this week. Also, in a meeting between two teams the Shamrocks beat, No. 3 Arizona Lutheran beat No. 5 Bourgade Catholic 49-35.
Another matchup between Yuma Catholic and Northwest Christian highlights the final week of the season. The two teams have faced each other in several playoff bouts, including last year's semifinal and the previous two state championships. Cibola can lock up a perfect Division II Section IV record with a win over Kofa, Yuma High hosts San Luis and Gila Ridge has to travel to Lake Havasu. Antelope ends its brutal three-game stretch at home against Arizona Lutheran – the Rams played Yuma Catholic last week and Northwest Christian the week before.