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Monsters Hold Off Pima

It was not by a landslide, but it was a win. And the result is a chance at the postseason. The Eastern Arizona College Gila Monsters football team played its only afternoon game of the season Saturday, defeating Pima Community College, 10-7.The win — third in a row — pushes the Gila Monsters to a .500 regular-season record in the Western States Football League. “Our defense played unbelievable,” EAC coach John O’Mera said. “We really stepped up at the right time of the year and have momentum at the end of the season. We are back to playing EAC football.”

EAC originally had a bye this week, waiting for a possible playoff game. But that changed when EAC picked up a last-second regular-season game to be played in El Paso, Texas, Monday, at 5 p.m. The Gila Monsters will play Sol Ross State University from Alpine, Texas, a Division III school. The El Paso site is the halfway point between the schools.

EAC is currently in fifth place and will remain there unless they get some help. If Pima beats New Mexico Military Institute this weekend, EAC will move into the top four in the WSFL and into the championship bracket. “This is the way we (the WSFL) set this up at the beginning of the season,” O’Mera said. “We thought from the beginning we had the team to be in the championship bracket.”

Currently, Arizona Western is 7-1 overall, 6-1 in WSFL. Scottsdale is 6-1; Mesa is 5-2; and NMMI is 5-3, 4-3. EAC, at 4-4, is followed by Pima at 3-4, Glendale is 2-5, Snow is 2-5, 2-6, and Phoenix is 0-7. EAC beat Pima, Snow, Phoenix and Scottsdale this season. Scottsdale is ranked 8th nationally, followed by #10 Arizona Western, and #15 Mesa.

“We are excited about this game in El Paso,” O’Mera said. “And we’re excited about our chances in the playoffs. We are playing our best right now, at the end of the season.”

Statistically, EAC is first in the league in rushing yards on the season with 1,786, first with a 255.1 yards-per-game average and first in attempts with 375. It is also first in yards per completion with 23 yards per catch. The Monsters are second per carry average at 4.3 yards, second in tackles with 615. It is first in penalty yards in the conference. On the season it averages 337.3 yards a game, rush for 255.1, has 82.1 passing and 21.3 points a game. It allows 401.6 yards per game and 164 rushing.

The WSFL Playoffs begin October 26 and run through November 9.

by Jay David Murphy sportsguy@eacourier.com

Eastern Arizona Courier