Wildcats host undefeated Cowboys on Friday

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci interior offensive linemen prepare for the next play during pre-game warm-ups. From left, Zachary Esparza, Matthew Garcia, Omar Ortega, Jude Perez, and Beau Wagner get set.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

The Wildcats responded to the 15-0 shutout at the hands of Thatcher by pitching their own shutout, 66-0 over the Tucson Santa Rita Eagles in Lawson Stadium on Aug. 24.

Individually, senior Mark Roybal changed his diet, senior Beau Wagner raised his intensity level, seniors Matthew Garcia and Christopher Roybal worked harder, senior Jude Perez pushed the sled harder, and juniors Zach Esparza conditioned harder and Omar Ortega was mentally focused. Those were a few of the different responses by the Wildcats. The rest also stepped up to meet the challenge.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Mark Roybal crosses into the end zone for Morenci’s fourth touchdown against Santa Rita on Aug. 24. Roybal scored the initial TD in Benson on Aug. 31. Morenci shutout the Eagles 66-0 and downed the Bobcats 21-6. The Wildcats host the unbeaten Willcox Cowboys on Sept. 7.

Morenci won the opening coin toss, elected to received, but lost a fumble on second down.

However, scores were recorded during five of seven offensive possessions taking one, five, three, two, and two plays; on an interception; and on three punt returns. The Wildcats ran out of time on the other two possessions.

Blocks were made by offensive linemen, tackles Wagner and junior Zach Esparza, senior guards Matthew Garcia and Jude Perez, junior center Omar Ortega, and senior ends Mario Garcia and Christopher Roybal, enabling the backs to gain yardage.

Senior Isaac Pacheco crossed the goal line from 63, 22, and 58 yards out; junior Carlos Bray ran 16 yards; and senior Tanner Hudman 44 yards. Senior Mark Roybal returned an interception 23 yards and a punt 53 yards; and juniors Angel Arrellin returned a blocked punt 20 yards and Christopher Deck a punt 55 yards.

Defensively, Morenci forced the Eagles to punt after three downs nine times and twice gained control of the ball with interceptions.

In Benson, the Wildcats fielded their defensive unit first, Christopher Roybal intercepted a pass and Mark Roybal scored on a 20-yard run. The next score was also by Morenci, prompted by an Omar Ortega fumble recovery. Isaac Pacheco scored and Morenci led 14-0 at the close of the opening period.

A Brandon Blair second period score gave the Wildcats a 21-0 advantage at halftime. The host Bobcats crossed the goal line during the fourth period to account for the final 21-6 score.

Morenci (2-1 overall, 0-1 Black Region) welcomes the undefeated Willcox Cowboys (2-0) to Lawson Stadium on Friday, Sept. 7. Kick-off is at 7 p.m.