The Morenci Wildcats made quick work of the Madison Highland Prep Heat Friday night, both on the scoreboard and the scoreboard clock.
Leading 52-0 at the halftime break, the second half was played with the running clock. For those not familiar with the so called “running clock or mercy rule” neither of the those terms are used in the AIA Sports Policy and Procedures. Article 24 of the AIA calls for “Speed up the Game” rule. The clock only stops: A. With a team time out. B. Officials’ time out (injury on the field). C. Following a score. D. Any change of possession.
With the Phoenix team showing little or no ability to move the ball against Morenci, the second half was sped up to avoid injuries on the field.
Before that happened, though, Madison had to suffer through the first half at regular speed.
Morenci was plagued with a series of early penalties, but still put together a six-play drive that was capped off with a 35-yard touchdown run by sophomore Michael Casillas, 8-0 with successful two-point conversion.
Another penalty wiped out a touchdown scoring punt return by senior Wildcat Tony Roybal. After the six points came off the score board, the Wildcats started at the Heat’s 35 yard line. A pass and catch from Daylen Johnson to Tristen Sanchez moved the ball to the Heat 13-yard line. Johnson then kept the ball and covered the 13 yards for MHS second score of the night. Another penalty, moved the extra point try back to the 18-yard line. Even with the extra distance, sophomore Austyn Nelson’s foot was “money” as he split the goal posts, 15-0 at the 8:03 mark of the first quarter.
Suffering a bad snap from center, the Heat soon suffered another Morenci touchdown as Casillas found the Heat’s end zone two plays later from 17 yards out. Joey Seballos added two more with successful PAT run, 23-0.
The Heat could not get anything heated up and suffered two sacks on their next possession.
The Wildcat were given a short field once again. A pass and run from Johnson to Saenz covered 31 yards and the PAT by Brendon Enriquez padded the Wildcat lead to 30-0, with four full minutes left in the first quarter.
A quick three and out for the Heat deep in their own territory led to a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown by Roybal, with failed PAT, 36-0.
Madison Highland couldn’t move the ball on the ground and the through-the-air plan was not any better. Facing a first and 10 at their own 44-yard line, the Heat tried the airways. Wildcat junior Gavin Baca, said, “Thank you very much” as he snagged the pass and dashed into the Heat end zone, 43-0 with PAT added again by Nelson. That would wrap-up the first period of play.
The second quarter started with the Heat at their 20-yard line. Two plays later they were back even further, at the 12-yard line. A fumble into the end zone and Madison found themselves adding to the Morenci point total. 45-0.
Morenci put the exclamation point to the first half with 36-yard pass, catch and touchdown run, Johnson to Roybal, 52-0 with another Nelson PAT.
The second half was played under the AIA Article 24, and the clock was allowed to run under those guidelines.
With 5:23 remaining in the third period senior Dmitri Briggs scored from four yards out. Failed PAT, 58-0 to end scoring in that period.
Morenci would add two more scores in the final period. The first was a 55-yard run by junior Rick Funari. Two point conversion by Saenz, 66-0.
The final score of the game came with 1:53 second left on the clock. Dillen Aker covered 31 yards to move the score to 72-0, with failed PAT.
Morenci now sits at 3-1 with the only loss coming at the hands 3A Round Valley, 46-7.
The Wildcats will host St. Johns (1-2) Friday night, before welcoming Bisbee on Oct. 1 in Region2A San Pedro play.