Phoenix Sunnyslope quarterback Mike Humphries, saddled with no passing yards through the first half, completed 10 of 12 passes for 143 yards in the second half to lift Sunnyslope to a dusty 14-7 victory over host Phoenix Barry Goldwater in Division II play Friday night.
Humphries connected with Manny Owens on a quick screen to the left and Owens cut against the grain for a 15-yard touchdown reception, giving Sunnyslope a 14-7 lead with 7:47 to play in the game.
The Sunnyslope defense held on from there.
“My receivers started to get open and my line started to block and we called all the right plays,” Humphries said. “It was fun out there.”
Sunnyslope coach Damon Pieri noted that the event made the win a bit more special.
“Teams like to schedule us for their homecoming,” Pieri said. “That made this a little extra special. But their kids came out and played hard. This was just two teams that lack speed. It was a slugfest.”
Goldwater (1-4) turned the ball over three times, and one cost it dearly.
Sunnyslope (2-3) took advantage of a big mistake late in the first when a Goldwater fumble gave Sunnyslope the ball at the Goldwater 3. Nicholas McCarthy took it in on the first play for a 7-0 Sunnyslope lead with 4:08 to play in the first.
Sunnyslope again had a golden opportunity to capitalize on a Goldwater turnover when Joe Watkins intercepted a Taylor King-Cooper pass and brought it to the Goldwater 35. But Sunnyslope didn’t get much further, as a penalty short-circuited the drive and forced a punt.
Late in the second, the Goldwater offense started to click.
King-Cooper connected with Tanner Horton for 15 yards to the Sunnyslope 35. King-Cooper then hit Seth Manzanares for 27 yards to the 8. King-Cooper recovered from an 11-yard sack to hit Manzanares from 19 yards out to tie the game at 7-7 with 11 seconds left in the half.
Humphries set up Owens’ winning touchdown with completions to Mike Fabricant (27 yards) and Brandon Cruz (23 yards). He remained hot on the next drive, completing a 19-yarder to Owens again to the Goldwater 29, but Sunnyslope fumbled the ball away two plays later and Khalil Glover picked up the football and raced to the Sunnyslope 48 with 1:50 to play.
A Manzanares 14-yard run moved the ball to the Sunnyslope 38, but Goldwater got no further and turned the ball over on downs.