By Richard Bravo
Copper Basin News
A week after winning a nail biter in Duncan, the Ray Bearcats hosted the same Wildkat football team. However, this time proved easier for the coaches and the home crowd as the Bearcats cruised to a 28-0 victory to win their first ever playoff game in division VI. The Wildkats had their star player back after missing his last four games due to injury. This made no difference as the Bearcats dominated the entire game holding the high tempo Wildkat offense to under 150 total yards and intercepting the quarterback four times. As for the Bearcats they pounded the ball on the ground, rushing for over 200 yards. The team was led by running back Robbin Newman who rushed for 144 yards and 2 TDs.
The Bearcats played well on offense striking first in the opening quarter when receiver Dominic Bravo broke free of his defenders and caught a 27-yard TD pass from quarterback Destry Yocum. The 2-point conversion pass from Bravo to Jeron Coleman was good giving the Bearcats an 8-0 lead going into the second quarter.
In the second quarter it was the defense that helped provide the scoring when strong safety Bravo intercepted his first of two passes of the night to set up the Bearcats next score. On the ensuing possession quarterback Yocum ran a keeper from 7 yards out to extend the Bearcat lead. The PAT by Jacob Pace gave the Bearcats a 15-0 lead at the half.
The third quarter was not much different for the Wildkats as they struggled moving the ball against the tough Bearcat defense, turning the ball over twice in the quarter. The Bearcats capitalized on both Duncan miscues. The first came when running back Newman broke free on a 50-yard TD run with 5:33 left in the quarter to put the Bearcats up 21-0. The second came after an interception by Joe Rudy Lorona who ran the ball down to the Wildkat 24-yard line. A facemask penalty moved the ball further into Wildkat territory giving the Bearcats a first and goal. On the first play Newman punched the ball in from 5 yards out for the games final score. The PAT was good by Pace giving the Bearcats a 28-0 lead which would stand till the final seconds ticked off the clock giving the Bearcats a first round playoff victory.
Although the offense contributed to all the scoring it was the defense that played superb not allowing any points for the first time this year. The defense was led by Yocum who finished the night with 10 tackles and 2 assist and 1 INT. Bravo had 6 tackles and 2 INT. Julio Noriega, Seth Harmon and Lorona had 4 tackles each with Lorona collecting an INT. Ryan Bickley and Pace had 3 tackles each.
The Bearcats will put their defense to the test in the second round as they take on the undefeated number 2 seeded Gilbert Christian Knights this Saturday night at 6 p.m. in Gilbert. The address to the school is 3632 E. Jasper Drive Gilbert, AZ 85296. It is sanctioned by the AIA so ticket prices will be $8 for seniors/adults and $6 for children. This is the Bearcats second step towards a state title so come out and show these young athletes your support. Good Luck Bearcats!