Marcos de Niza’s Padres stood their ground and defeated a reignited Corona del Sol for the second time in two weeks Nov. 6 to spoil the Aztecs’ chances of making it past the first round in the DII state football playoffs.
The Padres 14-7 win over Corona propelled Marcos into the second round, where they easily defeated Tucson’s Ironwood Ridge 35-15 on Nov. 13 and were scheduled to play the No. 1-ranked DII team in the state, Skyline, in the semi-finals Nov. 20 at Mt. View High School, a neutral site. Mt. View is at 2700 E. Brown Road, Mesa.
The Padre offense was on fire, outscoring Ironwood Ridge 28-0 before their dominant defense cooled off enough to allow the Nighthawks to get on the board, 28-7, in the third quarter with a touchdown.
The Padres would score another touchdown, making it five altogether, before the Nighthawks were able to put up their only other points, a second touchdown followed by a two-point conversion in the last minute of the game to finish 35-15.
The leading rusher for the Padres was Avery Sanders, with 14 carries for 180 yards. He helped set up quarterbacks Nazareth Greer, Zyayre Moss and Erik Bolster to score one touchdown each, while Shaun Richards scored two touchdowns.
Taking what the Nighthawks’ defense gave them, the Padres, who usually have a balanced attack, rushed for a total of 344 yards and passed for only 115 yards. Anthony Trujillo was the leading receiver with four receptions for a total of 57 yards.
The Padres stingy defense accounted for 30 solo tackles, 22 assists and 51 total tackles.
Jacob Hernandez led the team with nine solo and five assists, or a total of 14 tackles—two of them for a loss of yardage.
James Reynosa caused the Nighthawks to fumble the ball, along with his nine tackles, while Christian Rodriguez had six tackles and three quarterback sacks.
Trysten Griffith and Sanders each had five tackles. Griffith intercepted a pass to stall one of the Nighthawk drives.
The Padres are lucky with three kickers on the team. Krysten Muir scored all five of her point-after attempts for five points, while Matt Gill averaged over 45 yards in his six kickoffs.
The offense had to rely on Tanner Blankenship to punt the ball only twice, but he averaged 42 yards each time.
The Padres moved up in the DII football rankings to No. 3 with their win over No. 4-seeded Ironwood Ridge.
If they are able to defeat the No. 1 ranked Skyline on Nov. 20, the Padres will play the winner of the Westview versus Saguaro game in the championships at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27.
Cross Country Results — Corona’s boys team placed fifth out of 19 teams competing in the DI AIA State Championship Cross Country meet Nov. 7 held at Cave Creek Golf Course.
Leading the team was junior Slade Sumners, finishing in 11th place with a time of 16:19, followed by junior Liam Kovatch crossing the finish line in 20th place and recording at time of 16:36. Both Sumners and Kovatch received medals.
Other runners for the Aztecs were sophomore Graham Eversden in 29th place; senior Lucas Ykema in 33rd; junior Josh Whitney in 51st; sophomore Lincoln Johnson in 57th; and junior Tyler Thompson in 69th.
Corona’s girls team placed 10th, with junior Renee Payne crossing the finish line first for the team in 34th place, closely followed one second later by senior Alexis Artiaga in 35th place. Fellow senior Mackenzie Harder was next, trailed by freshman Mackenzie Burgess, freshman Tanaeya Johnson, sophomore Riley Wright and sophomore Cybell Cozart.
McClintock’s girls team competed at the DII level at the state meet finishing as a team in 32nd place. Sophomore Megan Carr was the top runner for the Chargers followed by junior Fiona Thiele, sophomore Adia Carr, Sophomore Teresa Flores, junior Tori Martin and Alexandra Mask.
Both the girls and boys team from Tempe High School competed in the DIII state cross country meet. The girls team placed seventh and the boys team finished in 21st place.
The girls team was led by sophomore Danyella Miranda who medaled in 18th place. The next runner was senior Daisy Lopez in 41st place, senior Ruth Linares in 48th, senior Alexis Blanc at 65th, sophomore Rubi Aguilera in 85th, sophomore Symantha Ramos and senior Joslyn Murillo.
The boys team finished in 21st place with the Buffaloes’ top two finishers, senior Jose Garcia placing 69th and senior Tony Tipton in 87th place. Other runners in order of finish were senior Chris Morales; senior Luis Hernandez; senior Jonathon Medina; sophomore Omar Bello; and senior Augustine Matuz.
Corona Athletes Sign Letters of Intent —Corona had nine athletes signing letters of intent to play college sports on Nov. 13.
Tyrell Henderson, a three-year member of Corona’s state championship basketball team, signed his intent to play at Portland State.
“Tyrell has meant a great deal to Corona’s basketball program,” said head coach Neil MacDonald. “Tyrell is an intelligent, versatile, hard-working player who can play and guard multiple positions.”
“Besides having a high basketball IQ, because he studies and understands the game of basketball extremely well, Tyrell is a good student in the classroom as well, earning a 3.8 GPA.
“He has also emerged as a senior leader on campus, supporting other groups besides our basketball program.”
Karilyn Quon signed to swim at St. Francis in Pennsylvania. Quon has been a highly successful swimmer at Corona, qualifying for state swim events all four years. “Karilyn is the definition of ‘student-athlete,’ plus she has never disappointed in or out of the pool,” said coach Ron Musgrave.
“I know, from a strategic standpoint, we have an outstanding chance of winning any event she swims because she is such a fierce competitor. On the other hand, she is a very kind young lady who will do great things in the classroom and pool or wherever she applies herself at St. Francis.”
Katelyn Stys, a member of Corona’s varsity softball team since her freshman year, signed to play softball at Philadelphia University next fall.
“Katelyn is a wonderful teammate who is very unselfish,” said coach Jennifer Ray. “Although a quiet leader, she is not afraid to speak her mind when she sees fit. She is a very hard worker who accepts challenges on and off the field and one of the first and last ones to leave practice.”
Ryan Farina, a two-time state place winning wrestler for Corona, signed a letter of intent to join his older brother Glen Farina in the wrestling program at Cal State Poly next fall.
“Ryan, and his entire family, has had a huge impact on Corona’s wrestling program on and off the mat,” said coach Jimmy Martinez. “He is a hard-working, committed wrestler who the others look up to as a leader in our program.”
“He is a self-starter who never complains but just keeps working hard to continually improve. He does not take his past successes for granted in wrestling or in the classroom, where he is a straight ‘A’ student.”
Corona had two baseball players sign letters of intent last Friday. Ryan Novis, who has played outfielder for the Aztecs’ varsity team since his sophomore year, signed to play at St. Mary’s. Connor McCord, first baseman and pitcher on the varsity team since 2014, signed at Western Oregon.
Casey Betts and Elizabeth Snoddy signed letters to compete in gymnastics. Betts signed with Minnesota while Snoddy signed with William and Mary.
Jakob Patterson, a prominent member of the Aztec lacrosse team since his freshman year, signed a letter of intent to play at University of Albany.
Corona Badminton State Championship —Baylee Watson and Vanessa Mora, unseeded in the AIA Badminton Doubles DI State Championship, defeated Mesa 15-13 and 15-8 in the first round but lost in second round to the No. 2 seed Red Mountain 15-8 and 15-0 late in October.
Colleen Ridge, entering the Badminton Singles DI tournament unseeded, defeated Sunnyslope’s Denial 11-0 and 11-3 in the first round and beat Mountain View’s Church in the second round 11-0 and 11-1 before falling to No. 1 seeded defending and eventual 2015 state champion Guo from Desert Vista 11-2, 11-2 in the third round.
Corona, seeded No. 11 in the team portion of the state championship, defeated No. 6-seeded Mountain Ridge in the first round 5-2 on Oct. 26 but lost 0-5 in the quarterfinals to the No. 3-seeded Red Mountain.