Queen Creek held off a late push by host Gilbert Highland on a rainy Friday night, winning 21-14.
After an hour delay because of the weather, Division I Highland intercepted a pass on Queen Creek’s first play of the game and went 26 yards on six plays to take a 7-0 lead.
Queen Creek, the defending Division III state champion, struggled in the first quarter, but senior Matt Guida started the second quarter with touchdown runs of 33 and 37 yards. He wasn’t done before halftime; Guida had a 1-yard touchdown run with five seconds left in the second quarter for a 21-7 Queen Creek lead.
Then came the scare for Queen Creek fans. Guida took a handoff toward his team’s sideline but was injured on the play. He did not return.
“I think he’s just kind of beat up,” acting Queen Creek head coach Travis Schureman said. “I don’t know much more than that.”
Highland took the momentum and drove down the field for senior running back Ryan McCord’s second touchdown of the game, on the first play in the fourth quarter.
Highland’s defense came up with another stop and Highland had the ball on its 19-yard line with less than seven minutes remaining.
The offense drove to Queen Creek’s 13-yard line, but a fourth-down pass was intercepted in the end zone.
“These kids, they are resilient,” Schureman said “That’s the good thing about the kids at Queen Creek, they just lay it on the line all the time. Our kids just came out and played hard tonight.”