GLENDALE - Attempting to overcome a disastrous first half, the Mesat football team's second half rally couldn't close the gap in a 48-27 WSFL football loss at Glendale Saturday night.
MCC found itself in a 27-0 halftime hole and was quickly down, 34-0, in the third quarter before the T-Birds began to put things together,
For the second straight week, mistakes and penalties blunted Mesa in the first half.
The Thunderbirds had 50 yards of penalties in the first quarter alone, including one which nullified a 21-yard TD run by quarterback Austin Apodaca (So., Longmont, Colo/Silver Creek H.S.).
The infractions were cleaned up in the second quarter as MCC had no penalties, but a fumble by Apodaca late in the second quarter at the GCC 35 handed the ball back to the Gauchos who quickly moved 65 yards in four plays, the last a 25-yard acrobatic TD grab by Terry Juniel on a pass from Jeff Kidd with 35.6 seconds left in the half which left MCC four scores down instead of three.
Glendale then began the second half with a 51-yard drive that made the score 34-0.
That was when Mesa got things going.
The T-Birds used a GCC mistake to get on the board the first time when a Brian Franklin (So., Mesa, AZ/Dobson H.S.) punt hit a Glendale receiver, skidded into the end zone and was recovered by Justin Barham (Fr., Glenwood Springs, Colo/Glenwood Springs H.S.).
After Glendale extended the margin to 41-7, Mesa drove 75 yards on 11 plays with Apodaca going over from the one, and then cut the gap to 41-20 on a 15-yard pass from Apodaca to Chett Levay (Fr., Tampa, Fla/Sickles H.S.) with 4:34 left in the third period.
The Gauchos used a 64-yard march, highlighted by a 35-yard third down pass from Kidd to Rod Taylor, and capped by a six-yard TD from Kidd to Jacob Fitzgerald, to once again extend the margin to four scores.
MCC quickly responded with a 65-yard drive terminated by a 28-yard pass from Apodaca to Garrette Craig, pictured right, (So., Phoenix, AZ/Mountain Pointe H.S.) to account for the final score.
Apodaca connected on 37 of 44 passes for 372 yards. Craig caught nine for 108 yards, while Levay had eighth catches for 82 yards.
Kashwell Robinson (So., Scottsdale, AZ/Saguaro H.S.) led the ground game with ten carries for 67 yards.
The T-Birds, now 0-2 overall and 0-2 in conference play, will host Phoenix next Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at John D. Riggs Stadium.
Other WSFL scores:
New Mexico Military 34, Phoenix 7
Arizona Western 49, Scottsdale 20
Eastern Arizona 21, Pima 7