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Cibola beats Tucson-Sunnyside in overtime
It was overtime at Cibola, and 3 yards stood between the Raiders and a win with playoff implications against Tuscon-Sunnyside.
Nine feet away from keeping their postseason dreams alive.
With such a short distance to go, Cibola coach Lucky Arvizo Sr. called the same number he'd been calling all night long: 25.
Senior running back Jordan Mitchell pushed the pile like it was made of feathers and fluff, tying the game at 27.
In the first possession of overtime, Sunnyside's extra point was no good, so all the Raiders needed was that one kick to go through the uprights to send the 2,500 homecoming fans home happy.
Cibola sent those fans happy with a 28-27 overtime, homecoming win against Sunnyside.
“I told them to make sure we pick up our blocks and make sure we down block,” Arvizo Sr. said during a timeout right before the Raiders touchdown. “I said this is what it comes down to. Make sure to dig deep and make sure we make our best effort on this play.”
The game started off with a very different attitude than what would transpire during the rest of the game.
The packed crowd showed up for a football game, but a track meet broke out.
On Cibola's second possession, Mitchell ripped off an 81-yard touchdown run on just the second play of the drive.
After returning the ensuing kickoff to the 25-yard line, Sunnyside running back Dominic Martinez traversed the other three-fourths of the field for a 75-yard touchdown run, tying the game at 7-7.
“It started out kind of big plays there, then I think both teams settled down a little bit,” Arvizo Sr. said. “It was a very well-played football game. Both teams go in at halftime and make some adjustments; during the game we had to make a few more adjustments, it was a chess match. It came down to overtime. It was an outstanding game.”
Mitchell accrued 109 yards rushing in the first quarter alone, and although they didn't pass much, Cibola quarterback Lucky Arvizo Jr. was 2 for 3 in the first half, including a 32-yard strike to sophomore wide receiver Michael Decorse-Hall.
Minus the 75-yard touchdown run, the Raider defense stepped it up as well in the first half, allowing only 21 yards of offense.
Sunnyside opened up the second half with an 80-yard touchdown drive that took about five minutes off the clock. They'd score again in the third quarter, tying it at 21-21. Raider offense was coming up empty except for Mitchell, who kept plugging along.
“He ran the ball hard,” Arvizo Sr. said. “Our O-line played great tonight, making sure they sustained their blocks. Jordan found the creases and made the most of it.”
With an emotional win behind them, Arvizo Sr. couldn't be more thrilled with his kids.
“I'm real proud of them. We knew coming in this was going to be a tough game. We knew it was going to come down to the fourth quarter because Sunnyside's an outstanding team. We needed to make sure we followed our game plan and make sure we took care of our assignments, and our guys played great tonight. I'm very proud of them.”