For West Valley Preps
Dysart just needs a win – anything would suffice at this point.
The Demons have been so close to capturing their first victory of the season and Friday was no different.
Dysart jumped out to an early 7-0 advantage and then watched Apache Junction build a commanding 29-7 lead midway through the second quarter. The Demons could have easily folded, considering the winless season they have endured to this point but Dysart kept fighting.
The Demons rallied, but it was not enough as Dysart remained winless after falling to visiting Apache Junction, 55-34, in 4A Black Canyon section play.
“We got down like that and it has happened to us all season long but this time we fought back,” Dysart coach John Ganados said. “We had the momentum and the ball back after half. We thought we were going to take the lead but couldn’t punch it in. We’ve got to figure out how to get a win.”
In a 6:29 span just before halftime, Dysart (0-7, 0-2 region) scratched and clawed its way back. Demons quarterback and coach’s son Kobe Ganados broke a 45-yard TD run to begin the rally.
“We have the athletes,” Kobe Ganados said. “I know we have the talent and the coaching but we are just not putting everything together when it comes to crunch time.”
Dysart forced a three-and-out and following a pass interference call that set the Demons up on the Apache Junction 40 yard line.
Dysart coaches then opened up the playbook for a bit of trickery. Kobe handed the ball off to Bradlee Brewer, who appeared to be running a sweep, but at the last moment did a 160 degree turn and passed the ball back to Kobe. With the defense fooled, Kobe ran down the sideline for a 40-yard score and cut the Apache Junction lead to 29-21 with 1:08 left in the half.
Most in attendance figured that Apache Junction would just run the clock out and go into the half but the Prospectors kept the gas pedal down. After a 20-yard pass play, the Dysart defense forced a fumble and safety Kris Raines recovered the ball.
On the next offensive play, Kobe connected with Adam Campbell streaking down the sidelines for a 37-yard TD pass. Dysart went for two to tie the game but a run up the gut was stuffed and Apache Junction lead 29-27 at intermission.
“They fight and have really tough kids,” Apache Junction coach Vance Miller said. “They had a great game plan. They knew how to defend us and had great play calling. We just made more plays.”
Dysart couldn’t rekindle the offensive spark it had just before halftime when the third quarter started. The Demons kept the ball on the ground with running back Seth Henderson as the senior carried the ball nine times for 55 yards to set a up a Jose Sanchez 33-yard field goal attempt that was blocked.
“We are searching for that W,” John Ganados said. “The kids haven’t got a taste yet.”
Dysart gave itself another chance, forcing a fumble after a 23-yard Apache Junction pass play that was recovered by Gabriel Silvas in the Demons end zone.
The next series ended with a Dysart punt and Apache Junction took control of the game when quarterback Gibson Limongello engineered a three-play drive that ended with his 19-yard TD run to put the Prospectors ahead 36-27 with 2:49 left in the third.
Dysart never regained its footing and Apache Junction wideout Cameron Garcia sealed the victory with a 26-yard end around, increasing the lead to 42-27 with 8:44 left.
“We are making the same mistakes over and over again,” John Ganados said. “We just haven’t corrected it yet but we are going to keep fighting.”
APACHE JUNCTION 55 DYSART 34
D – Seth Henderson 24 run (Jose Sanchez kick)
AJ – William Lohman 63 pass from Gibson Limongello (Kick failed)
AJ – Limongello 2 run (Limongello run)
AJ – Manny Acosta 42 interception return (Joseph Pomeroy run)
AJ – Logan De la cruz 12 run (Chazz Chavez kick)
D – Kobe Ganados 45 run (Sanchez kick)
D – Ganados 40 pass from Bradlee Brewer (Sanchez kick)
D – Adam Campbell 37 pass from Ganados (Run failed)
AJ – Limongello 9 run (Chavez kick)
AJ – Cameron Garcia 26 run (Run failed)
D – Campbell 16 pass from Ganados (Sanchez kick)
AJ – Lohman 2 run (Chavez kick)
AJ – Ethan Labrue 10 pass from Limongello (Kick failed)