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AWC Tops Monsters in Overtime

YUMA — With the clock ticking down to the final seconds of the game, the Gila Monsters rushed their field goal unit on to the field. With a zero showing on the clock in regulation, Nathan Pierpont split the uprights to tie the game, 24-24, and force overtime with the Matadors.

In the extra period, Arizona Western was able to kick a 35-yard field goal to escape with a 27-24 victory over Eastern Arizona College on Saturday. The Monsters had the first chance to score in the OT but found themselves backed up before taking a snap. In the rush to get the field goal unit on the field at the end of regulation, EAC was hit with a 15-yard penalty because a number of players didn’t have their helmets on before entering the field.

That penalty pushed EAC back to the Western 40 and, after three failed tries to get a first down, out of field goal range. Western was also pushed back to the 40, thanks to a personal foul on the first play from scrimmage. But Western was able to get down to the 25-yard line to set up the Edgar Gastelum winning field goal.

Both Eastern and Western scored 14 points in the second quarter. Western added 10 in the third and Eastern 10 in the fourth.

EAC quarterback Ryheem Dixon went 7 for 18 passing for 88 yards and two interceptions. He rushed 14 times for -8 yards. Eastern’s Silas Jefferson emerged against the Matadors with 11 runs for 77 yards and two touchdowns. Demarcus Nunnally rushed eight times for 36 yards, and Mike Sparrow ran five times for 20 yards. Hunter Udall for Eastern had a big night with four receptions for 65 yards — the last catch setting up the tying field goal.

On special teams, Detrick Clark had three kick returns for 199 yards and a touchdown — that score coming off a 99-yard run. Pierpont kicked one field goal and was one for two in extra point conversions.

Western quarterback Cid Camanse-Stevens was 15 of 28 passing for 175 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Darrell Monroe rushed 11 times for 85 yards, caught three passes for 85 yards and scored one rushing and one receiving touchdown. Clark Donald fan five times for 49 yards. Gastelum was perfect, kicking two field goals and three extra points.

Cameron Walton led Eastern with 11 tackles, David Brown had nine, Marcus Gaddy seven, and Wesley Bailey and Sean Adesanya each had five.

For Western, Larry McCloud had 12 tackles while Paul Magioire and Jamone Boyd each had seven.

The Monsters move to 2-2 overall and 1-2 in conference play. EAC will host Mesa (2-2) Saturday at 7 p.m., at John Mickelson Field. Western moves to 3-1 overall and holds first place in the Western States Football League. The loss drops Eastern to seventh in the WSFL. The top four teams at the end of the season go to the playoffs to determine the WSFL Champion.

Story written by Jay David Murphy, Sports Editor

Eastern Arizona Courier