With a week remaining playoffs, every shred of momentum and traction is necessary to set your team up with success.
Unfortunately for Desert Vista, it will not be going to the postseason with that traction as the Thunder fell to Queen Creek to end the regular season, 43-29.
The game started well for the Thunder, going up 21-7 towards the end of the first half. But once Queen Creek ended the half with a touchdown to cut the lead to seven points, the momentum started to shift in their favor.
“You’re down two touchdowns but to get that (touchdown) right before the half, now we’re only down by one score which is just one drive, that makes all the difference in the world,” Queen Creek coach Joe Germanie said. “So I think we really went into halftime with some momentum but I think the way our players came out the second half and played was amazing.”
The second half was where the Bulldogs took control of the game, scoring 15 unanswered points in the third quarter. The Thunder had a chance to change the momentum of the game but a turnover gave the Bulldogs the perfect field position to score the second touchdown of the quarter. Driven by it being senior night and not losing getting down on themselves, junior quarterback Devin Brown said he knew they wouldn’t lose this game.
“We knew we weren’t going out here losing cause it could be their (senior) last game on the varsity field out in Queen Creek,” Brown said. “...There was no loss of energy, our confidence was high the whole time, we knew we had it in us.”
Desert Vista wouldn’t simply lie down though, as on the very next drive the Thunder drove down the field and scored to tie it up. The defense wouldn’t be able to stop Queen Creek, however, as the Bulldogs scored 14 unanswered in the fourth quarter to end the game and send Desert Vista to the playoffs with a loss.
Desert Vista's defense struggled to get off the field and couldn’t finish plays as the Bulldogs collected several yards after contact. The offense was forced to play catchup after the turnover and never regained its full power after the second quarter.
Senior quarterback Parker Navarro said that the team needs to “learn from our mistakes on film and just truly look at the postseason as a new season and a fresh start.”
Head coach Dan Hinds said the loss, while tough, provides a learning opportunity for his team and during the postgame speech told his team that anyone can run the table.
“I believe that teams can create their own momentum and we can do that this week in practice and regardless of who we get, we need to create that momentum in the playoffs now,” Hinds said. “...There’s a lot that can be learned from a loss, I’m not saying we like losing but I’m saying we’re gonna learn a heck of a lot from this game.”
QC 7 7 15 14 -- 43
DV 14 7 0 8 -- 29
DV -- Humphrey 4 run (PAT), 8:01
QC -- Brown 22 pass to Bosworth (PAT), 3:41
DV -- Navarro 13 pass to Ervin (PAT), 1:20
DV -- Navarro 80 pass to Ervin (PAT), 3:47
QC -- Brown 15 pass to Calip (PAT), :16
QC -- Reynolds 1 run (PAT), 7:52
QC -- Brown 19 pass to Coleman (2-point conversion), 6:14
DV -- Navarro 1 run (2-point conversion), 11:56
QC -- Barlow 22 run (PAT), 9:29
QC -- Brown 75 pass to Bond (PAT), 6:31