Number one seed Sunrise Mountain got off to a hot start. The Mustangs opened the game, marching the field and taking the early lead on Keegan Freid TD pass. The defense forced a 3-and-out and after a bad punt, the Mustangs had great field position.
Sunrise quickly went up two scores on a Freid to Jay Anderson TD strike. 14-0 all Sunrise at this point.
Then Salpointe sophomore star running back Bijan Robinson took over. He scored on consecutive drives to tie the game at 14-14 and then had a long run to put Salpointe in scoring position on their next possession. QB Rodrigo Nieto ran the ball in and gave the Lancers their first lead of the game at 21-14.
Sunrise went right back to work and put another score on the board after one of the oddest plays I have seen in recent years. On 4th and 20, Freid scrambled for 15 yards was hit hard, stopped short but fumbled on the play. Sunrise WR Angel Ruiz scooped up the ball and rumbled for a 1st down. Freid then found Ruiz in the end zone a few plays later. The Mustangs two-point try failed. Salpointe led 21-20 with 2 minutes left to play in the first half.
Salpointe would need just one of those minutes to extend their lead.
Robinson again broke a long run, this one to the 10 yard line. Nieto then hooked up with Mario Padilla for a TD pass to give Salpointe a 28-20 lead the half.
Salpointe had the lone score of the 3rd quarter, a Nieto to Andrew Jacobs TD pass. 35-20 Salpointe headed into the 4th.
Sunrise fumbled on their next drive and Salpointe capitalized. Padilla scampered 59 yard for the score and extended their lead to 42-20.
The Mustangs wouldn’t go away though. Ruiz scored again to cut the lead to 42-27 and the defense forced a punt, which was blocked and recovered by Sunrise.
Diving into the end zone to try and cut the lead to one score, Freid fumbled the ball and Salpointe recovered for a touchback. Padilla put the game away with a 54 yard TD run,
Final: Salpointe 49 Sunrise Mountain 27
Bottomline – Salpointe Advances
Give credit to Salpointe’s big offensive line. Both Padilla and Robinson had plenty of room to run. Sunrise had their chances but three fumbles in the second half killed them.
Salpointe RB Bijan Robinson is a grown man! His runs in the first half kept the Lancers in the game.