On more than one occasion Friday night sitting in the stands at Maricopa High School, the lines of reality blurred and it was more like playing a video game, not watching an actual game.
Kentrell Coleman’s numbers from Friday night support this blurring. The senior made the opposing defense look as if they were standing still at times as he blazed by with three touchdowns over 50 yards; one on the ground for 58 yards, one through the air for 74 yards, and, just in case the scouts were watching, he took a punt to the house for 67 yards.
The first quarter saw a bit of back and forth as both teams warmed up their offensive engines. MHS quarterback Caleb Buck struck first with a beeline to tight end Franshua Avila to put the Rams up 7-0. Casa Grande High School would head down the field and score on a 19-yard quarterback draw to tie the game at 7-7.
Buck, Coleman, and Avila saw to it that the Rams got up and stayed up for the remainder of the night. Both schools scored again in the first quarter, with CGHS missing the extra point, leaving the score at 14-13.
In the second, the fireworks started with Coleman extending the lead to 21-13 on a 74-yard pitch from Buck just two minutes in.
Buck wasn’t done; he would throw three more touchdowns in the second quarter and lead the Rams to an insurmountable lead by the half.
In the second quarter, Buck completed eight of 11 passes for 193 yards and four touchdowns.
With 8:52 to go in the quarter, Buck got big Tim Byrd involved with his first of two touchdown catches in the quarter, for 19 yards putting the Rams up 27-13. Now Buck and his crew had placed their foot firmly on the accelerator, and on the next possession, Coleman bounced a dive left to the outside and simply outran everyone on the field to the end zone. Unfortunately CGHS didn’t have Usain Bolt on its defense or they might have been able to keep up.
Byrd would grab another touchdown from Buck, this one for 17 yards, before CGHS could get it together and score again, bringing the score to 39-19. Avila and Buck added another through the air for a little padding to close the half up 45-19.A 67-yard punt return by Coleman opened up the second half scoring. Buck’s understudy Isaiah Pedro gave Rams’ fans a look to the future connecting with Avila to bring the score to 59-19. One of the handfuls of big defensive plays came on the ensuing possession with linebacker Shawn Gunter doing the scoop and score on a fumble for 41 yards, putting the game even further out of reach at 66-19.
The next two CGHS offensive possessions had Ryan MacIntyre showcasing his skill as he took a delayed draw handoff down the far sideline for 80 yards, followed by a 17-yard touchdown run after the kickoff was fumbled, which brought the score to 66-33. Maricopa ran the ball 17 straight plays capped by Elijah Alvarado’s 4-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter making it 73-33.
MHS didn’t throw another pass in an effort to wrap up the game. A field goal by Conner Staehs took the Rams to 76 before CGHS scored on a long touchdown pass to bring an end to the score fest. With no more time on the clock, the Rams put the Cougars away 76-39.