Carl Hayden rolls on, tops Alhambra

Carl Hayden rolls on, tops Alhambra

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Carl Hayden rolls on, tops Alhambra

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For Phoenix Carl Hayden’s football program, any more wins this season would be history on top of history in what qualifies as a successful year for the long-downtrodden program.

Carl Hayden’s road to football respectability continued following its 41-20 win over Division I rival Phoenix Alhambra on Friday night, a victory that moved Carl Hayden to 4-5 on the season.

The west Phoenix school hasn’t won this many games since 1996, when it won six and qualified for the playoffs. A win at Phoenix Central next week, and Carl Hayden will finish at .500.

Quarterback Carlos Martinez, a senior playing the final home game of his high-school career, shined for Carl Hayden on Friday with four touchdown runs and a touchdown pass.

“It felt good, especially this night,” Martinez said. “This one was a good one to get for the team. I haven’t beat Alhambra in the last four years that I’ve been playing. This is my first win against them, and that’s what I was looking for.

“We’ve never been respected by anyone around here in this district, so pretty much every game is a rivalry game around here,” Martinez added.

Wide receiver Amadou Gueye opened the scoring with a 57-yard run on a reverse, getting a crushing block downfield from teammates James Cartwright along the way.

The teams traded touchdowns for a 14-14 tie, Martinez scoring his first on the first play of the second quarter with a 20-yard touchdown run. But after Martinez jumped over an Alhambra would-be tackler for a 10-yard scoring run with 6:44 to play in the second quarter, Carl Hayden took the lead for good.

Martinez’s 13-yard TD run gave Carl Hayden a 27-14 lead at halftime, but the momentum almost swung to Alhambra after Martinez was injured and Car Hayden botched a field goal snap on consecutive plays in the third quarter.

Instead, Carl Hayden’s defense forced turnovers on downs on Alhambra’s next two possessions, and the offense capped off a 12-play drive with Martinez passing to fellow senior Raul Quezada for a 34-14 lead with 5:14 left in the game.

Quarterback Jorge Varela ran eight yards for a touchdown for Alhambra, but Martinez answered with a 29-yard scoring run with 41 seconds to play.

“The kids have really bought in to what we’re doing,” Carl Hayden coach Jeremy Zimmerman said. “When they buy in, it gets so much easier for what we’re trying to do and (Friday)… They really got up to where we thought they could play. Real proud of what they did.”

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