High school football
Flowing Wells outlasts Amphi to win 'Battle of Prince Road'
Amphitheater running back Carlos Valarezo caused headaches for Flowing Wells all night Friday but the Caballeros came up with a huge stop at the perfect time, to preserve yet another win against their neighborhood rival.
Valarezo rushed for a game-high 207 yards and three touchdowns but host Flowing Wells stuffed the senior on a late two-point conversion to secure a 27-26 win and beat the Panthers for the third straight season.
Senior running back Jose Suarez III scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:46 left in the third quarter, giving the Caballeros their first lead of the game. But it wasn’t over until senior quarterback Dylan Allison made a heads-up play to recover an onside kick attempt with less than 3 minutes to play.
“It feels great, knowing that through the adversity, that we can pull through with the win, especially in our house,” Allison said. “The Battle of Prince Road goes to Flowing Wells once again.”
Flowing Wells moves to 2-0 with the victory, one year after posting a 9-2 record and qualifying for the state playoffs for the first time since 2001. The Caballeros, who opened the season with a 41-13 win at Sierra Vista Buena, are now 18-5 since winning just one game in 2013.
“We’re just all happy to have a winning season now,” said Suarez, who rushed for a team-high 78 yards and caught a touchdown pass. “We just look forward to every game and hopefully we keep the tradition going, of winning.”
There was no shortage of adversity for Flowing Wells on Friday night. Perhaps the most notable challenge was the absence of coach Mark Brunenkant, who at Air Force Academy’s Parent’s Weekend to be with his son. Offensive coordinator Brian Hook served as the head coach in his place and he spoke with Brunenkant over the phone not too long after the game.
“He’s proud of us, he’s happy,” Hook said. “I just tried to do my best to finish this game and make the right calls. It was stressful but we got through it.
Flowing Wells trailed 20-14 at halftime but put together two scoring drives in the third to take a 27-20 lead into the final period.
The Caballeros tied it when senior Mario Martinez broke free for an 18-yard touchdown with 9:29 left in third, capping off a drive that was extended with a roughing the passer penalty.
Flowing Wells forced a turnover on downs after to set up Suarez’s go-ahead 4-yard touchdown run. The 77-yard scoring drive featured a pair of third down conversions and a successful fourth down conversion, with senior Cedric Lopez pulling in a tipped ball for a 20-yard gain.
“It means everything,” Suarez said. “They’re our rivals, probably one of the toughest games we’re going to play this year. I’m just glad we got that win.”
Amphi, which went winless in 2015, didn’t waste time getting on the board on Friday night. Valarezo capped off a 12-play, 80-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run with 5:19 left in the first.
Flowing Wells found the equalizer on its first play from scrimmage when Allison connected with Suarez for a 47-yard touchdown but the Panthers didn’t take long to regain the lead, as senior quarterback Emmanuel Shoemaker hit senior Aariq Quik for a 10-yard touchdown on fourth down.
Senior fullback Dylan Valenzuela hauled in a19-yard touchdown catch to pull Flowing Wells into another tie but Valarezo responded with a 65-yard touchdown run up the left side on the first snap of Amphi’s next possession.
It wasn’t until much later that Valarezo came up with his third touchdown of the game. He scored on a 2-yard run to cap off an 89-yard drive and give the Panthers a chance to take the lead. With Amphi trailing 27-26 and 2:42 remaining, third-year coach Jorge Mendivil opted to go for two rather than settle for the tie.
Valarezo took the toss up the middle but ended up tangled up in a blitz and Flowing Wells was able to run the clock out from there.
“I never regret going for two, that’s kind of been my mantra since I started coaching a long, long time ago,” Mendivil said. “Would I have changed the play call? Obviously. But, overall, I’m proud of our guys. For a team that went 0-10 to be hurting like they’re hurting right now, it just shows it’s a different team this year.”