A tie is all right with Sedona Red Rock football coach Jim Cromartie.
After two defeats to start the season, the Scorpions’ new chief looks at Friday’s 36-36 stalemate with Joseph City as progress. Red Rock rallied from a two-touchdown deficit and scored the game tying points as time expired.
"It was exciting, and it was half the notch in the belt we needed," Cromartie said. "We enjoyed some success."
Joe City went ahead 36-28 with 1:08 left in the game. With no time outs at his disposal, Red Rock quarterback Mike Sells engineered the 70-yard march to tie the contest with several nice passes.
Mike Scagnelli hauled in a 15-yard touchdown pass on the game’s final play, and Mike Ayers bulled in for the crucial 2-point conversion. There is no overtime in non-conference football games.
"We were really pleased with the effort," Cromartie said.
Sedona scored on its second play from scrimmage as John Cunningham raced 60 yards on a sweep. Joe City led 8-6 at halftime and increased its advantage to 21-6 midway through the third quarter.
Sells’ 55-yard TD pass to Fritz Nugent, and touchdown runs of 45 and 5 yards by Ayers accounted for the rest of the Red Rock scoring. Ayers also netted 2-point conversions after his first TD run and Nugent’s TD reception.
Camp Verde falls 33-0: Wickenburg scored all of its points in the first half, with Shane Fern rushing for two touchdowns and catching a pass for another. Camp Verde turned the ball over four times in the first half.
"They scored 20 points in the fourth quarter off our turnovers," said Cowboys coach Luke Steege, whose team dropped to 2-1 overall and began 3A Cactus Region play with a loss.
"I think it was nerves a little bit. This was our first really tough road game, and we have some young guys."
The Wranglers (2-1, 1-0 in the region) held Camp Verde runners David McDonald and Jack Stock in check and intercepted a Cowboy pass.
"The offense didn’t do anything the whole game," Steege said. "We didn’t have many first downs. I don’t know if we even crossed the 50."
Camp Verde’s defense played better in the second half and stopped Wickenburg four times inside the 5-yard line on one series. "They showed a lot of pride and didn’t give up," Steege said.
Next week: Camp Verde will host Seton Catholic (1-1) this Friday in another conference duel. Red Rock will host St. Johns. Both games start at 7 p.m.