Wildkats host Apaches for final regular-season home contest

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan senior running backs Lucas Basteen (25) and Cesar Contreras (20) alternated getting the bulk of the carries, accounting for 23 of 46. Junior quarterback Jason McGrath (14) hands off the ball to the first back through while faking to the second one. The Wildkats downed Saint David 28-18 for homecoming and a region win Sept. 27.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

DUNCAN – The Southern Greenlee County Wildkats will be hosting the Fort Thomas Apaches on Oct. 4. It is the final 2019 regular-season game on Packer Field. Kick-off for the region contest is 7 p.m.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan 6-year-old Reiner Wagley competed in the balloon race during a pep assembly prior to the homecoming bonfire Sept. 26. The race was open to members of the community.

The Wildkats have a 9-7 overall record and an average score of 34-28 (542-446) per game or a 6-point margin over the Apaches in the 8-man era. Duncan is 4-2 at home on Packer Field, 5-2 when playing in October, and 4-1 when playing in the first week of October.

Duncan and Fort Thomas both have four-game win streaks, Fort Thomas from 2004-07 and Duncan from 2011-14. Duncan won the 2018 pairing 30-16, but the teams alternated in winning two of the most recent four pairings.

The offenses have both scored 64 points while posting wins, Duncan in 2013 (64-26) and Fort Thomas in 2017 (64-32). The fewest points allowed by Fort Thomas was six in 2005 (14-6) and 12 by Duncan in 2009 (26-12).

Fort Thomas is No. 14 with a minus 2.0441 rating in 2019’s initial rankings released Oct. 1. The Apaches bring records of 3-3 overall and 1-2 1A South Region to Duncan, along with an average score of 38-32 (228-190) per game or a 6-point margin.

The Apaches have wins of 52-50 over Anthem Prep (Sept. 6), 56-0 over California Winterhaven San Pasqual (Sept. 13), and 62-22 over Valley Union (Sept. 27). The losses were 32-26 to Sells Baboquivari (Aug. 23), 58-12 to Salome (Aug. 30), and 28-20 to Saint David (Sept. 20).

Duncan (4-1 overall, 2-0 region) has averaged a 38-13 (192-64) score per game or a 25-point margin. The wins were 26-20 over Kearny Ray (Aug. 23), 50-6 over Mohave Accelerated (Aug. 30), 60-0 over Cibecue (Sept. 7), and 28-18 over Saint David. The loss was 40-28 to Salome (Sept. 13).

Remaining games for the Apaches are at Joseph City (Oct. 10) and hosting region foe Cibecue (Oct. 18) while the Wildkats are on the road twice in region play, at Elfrida Valley Union (Oct. 11) and at Baboquivari (Oct. 18). 

The 1A South Region standings are the Duncan Wildkats first, the Baboquivari Warriors second (2-0, 3-2), the Saint David Tigers third (2-1, 2-3), the Fort Thomas Apaches fourth, the Elfrida Valley Union Blue Devils fifth (1-2, 1-5), and the Cibecue Wildcats sixth (0-3, 0-6).

Rankings for the rest of the region members are No. 10 (0.4459 rating) for the Warriors, No. 16 (minus 3.4853) for the Tigers, No. 20 (minus 8.1074) for the Blue Devils, and No. 23 (minus 15.9117) for the Wildcats.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan quarterback Jason McGrath netted five yards on three carries against Saint David. A 1-yard run ended in a touchdown with 4:31 elapsed in the second half. It gave Duncan a 20-12 advantage.

Duncan – 28, Saint David – 18

The Wildkats broke a scoreless deadlock 27 seconds into the second quarter. The Scarlet and Gray was tied, but never relinquished the lead nor trailed during the rest of the region and homecoming game.

“They were keying on me,” senior running back Lucas Basteen said. “That left Cesar (Contreras) open.”

Contreras found enough running room to score three times, from 35, 5, and 27 yards out. He also added a conversion run to contribute 20 points. Junior Jason McGrath ran in from a yard out to account for the other touchdown and Basteen added the other conversion run.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Cesar Contreras broke a scoreless deadlock with Saint David for the game’s initial score 27 seconds into the second quarter. The Duncan senior running back accounted for three touchdowns and 20 points on the night. He averaged 8.3 (21-175) yards per carry.

The Tigers received the opening kick, ran off six plays gaining 38 yards and using two minutes, but threw an incomplete pass on 4th-and-4 to turn the ball over on downs.

Duncan marched 45 yards in 11 plays using 5:15 on its initial possession. However, the Wildkats ended four yards short of the goal line on 4th-and-goal from the 12. They also turned the ball over on downs.

The Tigers used 3:58 in seven plays to gain 35 yards on their second possession. But, a completed pass on 4th-and-9 went for no gain. Saint David again turned the ball over on downs. 

Duncan started on the 47 with 30 seconds left in the opening quarter, gained seven yards and recovered a bad center snap, and Contreras crossed the goal line on the third play for the game’s initial score with 11:33 left in the second quarter.

Saint David tied the score 6-6 with 8:45 left in the first half. Junior Logan Davis connected with junior Kason Jacquez for a 40-yard score. The Tigers failed in the first of three conversion attempts.

Contreras accounted for the Wildkats second score and Basteen added the conversion run. Duncan led 14-6 with 2:02 left in the half, but Saint David sophomore Cody Didion returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to trail by two, 14-12, 14 seconds later. The score remained the same at halftime.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan 2019 homecoming Queen Lynnie Neilson and King Lucas Basteen were crowned 2019 Homecoming Queen and King, respectively, at halftime of the Sept. 27 football game. They both attended the next evening’s dance. A small crowd took advantage of the Hawaiian Luau-themed event and fruit slushy bar. Other candidates were Domanique Giacoletti, Kaitlyn Lunt and Megan Van Sickle for queen and Cesar Contreras, Cliff Hansen, and Trey Robinette for king.

McGrath added a third score with 4:31 elapsed in the third quarter to give Duncan a 20-6 advantage.

Saint David junior Robby Goodman connected with Jacquez for a 6-yard scoring pass. The Tigers got within two points 6:27 later, but no closer.

Contreras added Duncan’s final score with 2:31 remaining to be played. It held through the final buzzer, Duncan – 28, Saint David – 18.

For the game, Duncan totaled 320 offensive yards, 305 on 46 carries and 15 on 3-8 passes. Saint David had 325 yards, 201 on 23 pass receptions and 124 on 23 carries.

Contreras averaged 8.3 (21-175) yards per carry, Basteen 5.7 (22-125) yards, and McGrath 1.7 (3-5) yards. McGrath completed 3-7 passes for 15 yards with an interception. Junior Tommy Hille got 5.5 (2-11) yards per catch and Contreras 4.0 (1-4) yards.

Defensively, 13 different Wildkats were in on at least one stop, totaling 70 tackles (29 solo, 41 assisted). Seniors Cliff Hansen (6 solo, 8 assisted) and Basteen (4 solo, 10 assisted) were both in on 14 tackles, Contreras 11 (3 solo, 8 assisted), freshman Gabriel Guevara 10 (5 solo, 5 assisted), and Smith (5 solo, 3 assisted). Basteen had a quarterback sack and interception.

Saint David had Davis complete 21-29 passes for 175 yards plus an interception. Junior Robby Goodman went 0-1. Senior Jimmy De La Cruz averaged 20 (1-20) yards per catch, freshman Kydin Richardson 14.0 (2-28) yards, Jacquez 9.0 (8-72) yards, Gooding 8.6 (7-60) yards, sophomore Jason Goodman 6.0 (2-12) yards, sophomore Talon Haynie 4.5 (2-9) yards, and Didion 1-0.

Haynie averaged 7.5 (14-105) yards per carry, Gooding 6.3 (3-19) yards, Didion 4.0 (2-8) yards, Davis minus 2.7 (3 for minus 8) yards, and sophomore Bobcat Pacheco 1-0.

Defensively, Haynie totaled 17 tackles (5 solo, 12 assisted), Jacquez 12 (6 solo, 6 assisted), sophomore Brayden Merrill 10 (5 solo, 5 assisted), and Goodman nine (5 solo, 4 assisted). Haynie had an interception and both De La Cruz and Jacquez a fumble recovery apiece.

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