Desert Edge gets first win at home as it survives Millennium comeback
September 11, 2017 by Kynan Marlin , Arizona State University
The Millennium Tigers were flirting with a 14-point comeback win Friday against the host Desert Edge Scorpions, but the Tigers just couldn’t pull it off.
After Tigers running back Davon Fountain scored a 15-yard touchdown, cutting the team’s deficit from 20-10 to 20-17 andwith only a few minutes left, Millennium needed a defensive stop to get the ball back for a chance to win or tie the game.
However, when Desert Edge got the ball, running back Kody Ball and the Scorpions kept completing big first downs to run out the clock and win the non-conference game 20-17.
“It was huge,” Ball said. “We just executed when we needed to.”
Near the beginning of that final drive, it was third-and-20 and the Scorpions needed a first down. With that much yardage needed to move the chains, nobody was expecting a large pass play, especially considering the team had attempted one pass before that point on the night.
Desert Edge (2-2) took advantage of this as quarterback Tyler Henry found Ball deep downfield to pick up the first down, completing the only pass for the Scorpions.
“We’re going to rely on our offensive line,” Desert Edge coach Jose Lucero said. “We have one of the best o-lines in the state. If we have to make a pass we can, and I think that’s what Tyler proved tonight.”
The Tigers (1-2) had some promising drives throughout the game that did not translate to points.
Millennium turned the ball over on downs twice to end the series while the team was in the red zone.
“We have to be able to finish our drives,” Millennium coach Lamar Early said. “We’re young, and we’ll get better.”
Millennium also had a touchdown called back for offensive pass interference late in the second quarter. The Tigers did, however, get a field goal with only three seconds left before the halftime buzzer, putting them on the board and raising the score to 14-3.
This appeared to spark some confidence and start a comeback for the Tigers.
“Well, we had to get points on the board,” Early said. “We missed some opportunities in the first and second quarters. It was big for us to go into the half with some points.”
The Tigers came out of the break strong as quarterback Zareq Brown marched the team down the field and had a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Aidan Diggs in the back of the end zone.
While Millennium ultimately came up short, Brown had a big night, passing for 164 yards and completing 15 of 27 passes.
The Scorpions’ first two touchdowns, which gave them their initial 14-0 lead, came from running backs Ball and Rocky Perez in the first quarter.
“We like to run downhill and come at people and defenses can’t really take it,” Ball said. “So we just run at them all game.”
Millennium will be looking for a bounce-back win at home next week against the Skyline Coyotes.
Desert Edge will try to ride its hot streak at home at 7 p.m. Friday against the Mesquite Wildcats.