MARICOPA — In a game marred by penalties, a tale of two different halves emerged with big plays from both sides as Sequoia Pathway debuted their new, on-campus football field.
But the biggest play was made on defense.
With under a minute left the Arete Prep Chargers (1-1) were driving with the Sequoia Pathway Academy Pumas (1-1) leading by two when Damion Lyons recovered a fumble at the 15-yard line to secure the win.
Even though the Pumas were outplayed by the Arete Prep Chargers at the start, one play in the first half changed the game.
The Pumas, down 12-0 with less then a minute left in the half, got back in the game when quarterback William Webber connected with wide receiver Tre Lacey on a 50-yard pass and run to cut the lead at half to 12-8.
Other than that, the Chargers moved the ball at will as the Pumas could not stop the legs of quarterback Matthew McClelland, who did much more damage on the ground than the air.
It could have been worse if not for a big time 16-yard sack by Norien Banks that stopped a drive deep in their territory
In the third quarter, the Pumas were called for a personal foul on third down and McClelland made them pay with a 33-yard sprint down the right sideline to push the lead to 20-8.
Puma running back Cornell Reed Jr. did his part to keep the game close by ripping off an 18-yard run that was followed by a 47-yard touchdown run, but McClelland responded with a 62 yard-run of his own to push the lead to 26-14.
Trying to keep the Pumas close, Lacey broke loose on the left sideline for an 85-yard sprint to cut the lead to 26-22.
A combined sack by Lyons and Banks for 13 yards resulted in a punt that Reed ran back to the 10-yard line. After a 20-minute water break, Lacey took it in in on then right side to take the lead. Reed then ran in for the 2-point conversion to push the lead to 30-26.
McClelland, who rushed for five touchdowns, ran it in from 13 yards out to recapture the lead.
The lead did not last long when Lacey broke loose on the right sideline on a 75-yard gallop to take the lead 36-32 with 10 minutes left.
McClelland, as he had the whole game, broke loose for another 49-yard touchdown run to retake the lead , 40-36, with eight minutes remaining on the clock.
Lacey struck right back on a second and 11 when he outraced the entire Chargers team on a 61-yard sprint to finish the back and forth game by a final score of 42-40.
The Pumas play again next Friday at Surprise Highland Prep.