The Cibola High School marching band rocks out during halftime Friday evening.
|Runnin' Raider Fans|
Tiny tots and young fans charge the field for the second half of Friday's game.
|Cibola v. Lake Havasu Football|
Cibola’s first touchdown of the game didn't come until the second half, but the Raiders finished on top in a 29-14 win against the Lake Havasu Knights in their season opener.
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Arvizo Jr. sparks Cibola's comeback win over Lake Havasu
Lucky Arvizo Jr. threw for a touchdown on his first snap at quarterback after taking over at the start of the second half, sparking a two-touchdown comeback against Lake Havasu on Friday.
But he didn't forget about his old position either.
Starting the game as the holder, Arvizo Jr. turned a bad snap into two points and Cibola's first lead of the game in a 29-14 win against the Knights in the season opener.
Arvizo Jr. found Deante Gaines on the first play of the second half, cutting the Knights' lead to 14-7.
“It was a confidence booster, obviously,” said Cibola coach Lucky Arvizo Sr. “I said ‘Hey, we're going to go deep the first play.' And he kind of smiled and said ‘OK, which way?'”
The teams traded scoreless possessions, then the Raider defense held the Knights to their second three-and-out of the half. The Knights had 234 yards of offense in the first half, including a 97-yard touchdown pass. But they finished with just 287 yards in the game.
“Our coaches made some adjustments at halftime,” Arvizo Sr. said. “It was some good calls from the pressbox.”
Cibola took over after the second three-and-out on the Havasu 49 and marched down field, capped by an 8-yard run by Steven Mitchell. He was seemingly stuffed at the line, but carried multiple Havasu defenders on his back for the score.
“When he runs, he runs hard,” Arvizo Sr. said. “He's gotten bigger, stronger, faster. He's a lot to bring down. He's a tough runner.”
After the second bad long snap of the game, Arvizo Jr. made the most of it, finding Jacob Gauna in the back of the end zone for a two point conversion and a 15-14 Cibola lead.
“That was quite a play,” Arvizo Sr. said. “It was kind of a shaky snap. … But he bided some time there to let Jacob go all the way across and fortunately hit him.”
The Raiders played Havasu three times last year, losing the last two games, both at home. The last loss came in the playoffs.
“Anytime you open the season with a win it's very rewarding no matter who it is,” Arvizo Sr. said. “Being Lake Havasu, who beat us last game last year, makes it even sweeter.”
Cibola put the game away on a sneak by Arvizo Jr. with 4:22 left, capping an 80-yard drive. Arvizo Jr. completed a pass to Austin Olaiz for 31 yards earlier in the drive, threading the needle on a double team.
“He did a good job, and his teammates rallied around him,” Arvizo Sr. said. “He made some key throws at key times in key situations. Overall he did a good job.”
Backup running back Adam Razo added an insurance score with a 38-yard run with 2:07 left. He was in for Jordan Mitchell, who led the state in rushing last year and had 143 yards to start his senior campaign.
Gaines had only the one catch, but also had two interceptions in the game. Steven Mitchell finished with 74 yards on five carries. Arvizo Jr. completed four of seven passes for 127 yards, including going 3-for-3 in the fourth quarter.
Havasu led 7-0 in the second when Cibola marched down to the Havasu 3, thanks in part to a 45-yard run from Steven Mitchell to go with two personal fouls on the Knights. But three plays inside the 10 failed to produce a score, and a fake field goal attempt from the 3 on fourth down failed.
The Knights took over, picked up a first down, but then got pushed back to the 1 after a series of penalties and a sack by Jose Jimenez. But after a 2-yard run set up a third-and-20 from the 3, Marcus Fortune found receiver Kris Larson over the middle wide open for a 97-yard touchdown pass.. Larson went untouched for the score after dropping a pass on a similar play earlier in the quarter.
The Knights started another drive at the 2 in the first quarter after the Raiders failed on a fourth-and-1 from the 2. The Knights marched down to the Cibola 25, but Gaines picked off Fortune in the end zone.
Havasu's first score came after a 7-yard Cibola punt gave the Knights a 31-yard field. Fortune scored on a 7-yard run with 8:26 left in the first for a 7-0 lead.