The capacity crowd was nearly silent just before the kickoff of Phoenix Bourgade Catholic’s matchup against Phoenix Arizona Lutheran, and it was as if everyone was holding their breath in anticipation.
Arizona Lutheran fans can exhale now.
The visitors from No.3 Arizona Lutheran built a huge halftime advantage before No.4 Bourgade Catholic mounted a furious second-half comeback that ultimately fell short, as Arizona Lutheran prevailed, 49-35.
“We stuck with it and kept fighting,” Arizona Lutheran coach Scott Indahl following the game said. “(Bourgade Catholic) is a good team.”
Arizona Lutheran seemed to have the game in hand when running back Jesse Zwick weaved his way through Bourgade Catholic’s defense for a 26-yard touchdown that put Arizona Lutheran up 49-21 midway through the third quarter.
But Bourgade Catholic’s Tristan Estfan scored the second of his two third-quarter touchdowns to help Bourgade Catholic inch closer.
Then Marcus Magdaleno came up with an interception to set up sophomore quarterback Luke Dreher’s touchdown pass to Joshua Sanders. Just like that, Bourgade Catholic was within two scores at 49-35.
Dreher finished 16for33 for 235 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The hosts threatened to get even closer in the fourth quarter when Magdaleno again picked off Arizona Lutheran quarterback Cameron Haag, but Arizona Lutheran’s defense stopped Bourgade Catholic inside the red zone on the ensuing drive, and Bourgade Catholic would get no closer.
“They’re a good team,” Indahl said about Bourgade Catholic and its comeback. “They make plays. They hit hard.”
Arizona Lutheran moved to 8-1 on the season and 3-1 in DivisionV, SectionII. Bourgade Catholic dropped to 7-2, 2-2.
Arizona Lutheran played a dominant first half, scoring touchdowns on five of its first seven drives and seeing time run out on another drive that was deep inside Bourgade Catholic territory.
Haag (18 for 34, 300 yards) threw three touchdown passes, including two strikes to Brady Cook and a 79-yard strike to Gabe Galvan.
Bourgade Catholic, which hadn’t given up more than 21 points in a game all season, suddenly found itself surrendering 36 points in two quarters.