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Game Recap

Monsters Slip Past Artichokes

Thatcher, AZ --

THATCHER Two touchdown runs for over 70 yards, a safety, a missed kick that iced the win if the season opener is any indication, the Fighting Gila Monsters are in for a wild year. Eastern Arizona College (1-0) defeated Scottsdale (0-1), 28-27, Saturday at John T. Mickelson Field. The victory came with just under 18 seconds left on the clock, when Scottsdale missed a 34-yard field goal that would have given the Artichokes the win. I made the choice to force the play and not to ice the kicker with the clock moving, EAC head coach John OMera said. I took the chance to rush their kicker. The kick in wet conditions following a halftime rainstorm was a line drive that went under the crossbar.

Running back Serge Trezy proved to be the difference maker for the Monsters, rattling off a pair of highlight film runs for scores. With 40.6 seconds left in the first half, and with EAC down 10-6, Trezy took the hand off, cut left through the hole and blazed his way 73 yards for the score. That gave EAC a 13-10 lead heading into the locker room at the half. Trezy then scored what proved to be the game-winner with 10:29 left to play in the fourth, when he ripped off a 75-yard scoring run. The extra point was good and gave EAC a 27-26 lead. I feel pretty good about the game, Trezy said. Im still getting used to the offense. But I have to give credit to the offensive line.

Scottsdale took the early lead, scoring in the first quarter on a 5-yard out from Blake Decker to tight end Bradedon Bowman. An Artichokes field goal in the second quarter made it 10-0 but EAC was able to narrow the gap following a solid drive that included a Ker Sean Wilson 42-yard pass to Nehemiah Coward. Silas Jefferson capped the drive with a 2-yard scoring run. It was a great night, Jefferson said. We stayed together as a team. No one was selfish and you got to love the O-line.

The Monsters intentionally gave away points on their first possession of the second half, surrendering a safety. Our kicker has a broken collar bone, OMera said. So rather than taking a chance with the backup kicking out of the end zone, we gambled on taking the safety. The gamble paid off for EAC on its next possession, with Jefferson blasting off a 48-yard run, which was followed by a 10-yard scoring run by Paul Franklin to make the score 20-12 after the extra point.

The Artichokes scored on a pass play from Becker to Bowman to narrow the gap to 20-18. The two-point conversion try to tie was stopped by EACs Marion. But the Artichokes kept pressing the offense and finally regained the lead on a quarterback keeper and two-point conversion to make it 26-20 before Trezy had his second big scoring run. I have got to give credit to our defensive coaches and players, OMera said. They really were the example of bend-dont-break-it defense. I got to tip my hat to Scottsdale they came in with a great game plan, he continued. We were fortunate to come away with the win. The big key for us was no turnovers last year we had five. You have a chance to win if you take care of the football.

The Gila Monsters remain at home for the next game, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m., playing host to Mesa Community College (1-0). Mesa defeated New Mexico Military Academy (0-1), 41-24, Saturday.

By Jay David Murphy sportsguy@eacourier.com

Eastern Arizona Courier