MARICOPA - The Sequoia Pathway Pumas used three big plays in the first half Friday night to take control of its contest against the Bisbee Pumas, but Bisbee came back to tie the game late in the fourth quarter setting up the biggest play of the game.
With Bisbee playing to take away the screen game, Sequoia Pathway coach Donnie Margerum called a fake screen pass, and quarterback William Webber connected on top with Cornell Reed Jr. for 23 yards down to Bisbee's 15-yard line.
Reed would later score the a touchdown on a 2-yard run and then ran up the middle on the two-point conversion to put Sequoia Pathway up 30-22 for the final score of the game and improved to 3-1.
Bisbee (2-2) would have one last chance to tie the game and force overtime. They drove to the Sequoia Pathway's 18-yard line with one minute left, but penalties pushed them back to the 43-yard line and the Hail Mary pass on fourth down only traveled 20 yards.
After an almost scoreless first quarter Sequoia Pathway running back Tre Lacey, on 2nd-and-9 raced 67 yards down the right sideline to put his team ahead 8-0 on the last play of the first quarter.
Midway through the second quarter Bisbee quarterback Sebastian Lopez fumbled the snap on a 4th-and4 play, and Norien Banks scooped it up and rambled 60 yards to put Sequoia Pathway up 16-0-
Bisbee, aided by a 55-yard kickoff return from Geoffrey Gribble, drove 43 yards in eight plays that was capped off with a one-yard touchdown plunge from Diego Chavez to cut the lead to 16-6.
On the ensuing kickoff Lacey raced 100 yards up the middle to push the lead to 22-6 for the halftime lead.
Margerum said after the game that he told his team at halftime that Bisbee was a scrappy team that was not going to quit, and he proved to be correct.
In the third quarter Lacey raced another kickoff back 80 yards, but a block in the back nullified the return.
A shanked Sequoia Pathway punt gave Bisbee a short field and they drove 38 yards on 10 plays with Lopez taking it in from the one-yard line to cut the lead to 22-14.
After the Lacey fumble at Sequoia Pathway's own 27-yard line, play was stopped for 20 minutes when a Bisbee player was injured.
Bisbee took advantage of the fumble when Chavez ran down the right sideline to cut the lead to 22-20. Lopez tied the game 22-22 when he ran it for the two-point conversion.
Margerum said the late pass from Webber to Red was set up by Bisbee being very aggressive against the screen game.
"We knew they were a screen play team," he said, before complimenting his team for sticking together in a hard fought win.
He also was pleased with Lacey, who scored two touchdowns and had the 80-yard kickoff return called back.
"He's fast," Margerum said. "He's a stud."