Camp Verde, Sedona come up on short end of stick
For Camp Verde, Coach Luke Steege said his team may as well have been at a track meet Friday. Coolidge ran at will against his team and from the onset one thing was abundantly clear about the talent level of the two clubs.
"They were the fastest team I've ever seen," said Coach Steege of the state's No. 2 ranked team. "I'm going to go out on a limb and say they should be the No. 1 team in the state. After seeing them live and in person, I think it will be tough for people to beat them because of the speed factor alone."
Speed — that intangible you just cannot coach — was the primary factor in Friday' game, Steege said. "The speed they had vs. the speed we had, it was not even a question. And I'm not just talking about the backfield. I mean everywhere. It was not a pretty thing to behold."
Indeed, Coolidge scored all 52 of its points in the first half before showing any mercy.
The Cowboys' lone score of the night came with eight minutes remaining in the third quarter when quarterback Teall Haycock snuck it over from the 1. Earlier in the drive, however, it was back-to-back pass plays from Haycock to senior Travis Dixon that set up the touchdown.
"The key play in the drive was a little quick out to Travis Dixon that went for about 30 yards," said Coach Steege. "Then we did and out-and-up for another 30-yard gain and Travis made a great catch in traffic."
From that point on, however, the game offered a chance for experimentation for Steege.
"A lot of our seniors didn't play in the second half. We just kind of mixed things up to get some people some experience," the coach said. "I played kids in different positions to see what we have."
But like a Timex watch, Steege likes to think his team can rebound from Friday's licking and keep on ticking over the next two weeks with games against Parker and Chino Valley.
Parker was winless going into Friday's game "and with Chino the following week we should be able to put together a little string. Parker is in the same position as we are; they are really thin. Who we play from now on is more comparable to our talent pool."
Sedona-Red Rock High School
Turnovers proved to be the Scorpions' big undoing Friday.
"We made our share of mistakes," veteran Coach Jim Cromartie said.
After a scoreless first quarter, a blocked punt at the beginning of the second stanza was converted into a touchdown by Higley just six plays later. Later in the quarter, Higley defenders picked off a pass by quarterback Jeff Miner and Higley converted that into a touchdown just four plays later to go up 14-0 at the half.
Before the final whistle blew, Higley would pick off two more Sedona passes, one of which was converted into a touchdown.
Sedona's lone score of the night came late in the fourth quarter when Steve Tarantino ran it in from 8 yards out on a reverse play. That culminated a 60-yard Scorpion drive that featured several key runs by running backs Mark Gaulden and Tommy Wyatt.
In addition to the mistakes, Sedona's offense was crippled when the team's leading rusher, Adam Singer, had to leave the game early in the second quarter with a deep thigh bruise.
"We hope we'll be able to get him back this week," said Coach Cromartie.
"But I wouldn't take away from anything they did," said Cromartie. "They were well prepared and they took it to us. They out hit us and out played us and we just made too many mistakes."
The loss puts Sedona at 2-2 going into this week's game against Chino Valley.
"They are having their ups and downs, too," said Cromartie. "They have a new coach and they've been struggling. Our struggle is a real lack of depth. We don't have enough bodies and not enough experience in the bodies that we do have."