When it comes to flag football in the I-40 Conference, there’s not a lot of competition. In fact, the only two teams in the league squared off Saturday in back-to-back games at Grand Canyon.
Colin Hopkinson, right, provides blocking while Cruz Caballero carries the ball and Scott Beck trails the play in Saturday’s action vs. Ash Fork.
On a cold and breezy day that reminds one of football season, the Phantoms took two games over Ash Fork, 24-14 and 14-6.
In the first game, the Phantoms had to rally in the last few minutes to pull out the win. The Phantoms held a 12-8 lead with 4:30 remaining on TDs by Colin Hopkinson and Carlton Godinez. But Ash Fork went up 14-12 with 3:30 left on a 50-yard pass play.
Grand Canyon responded right away on the ensuing possession. Godinez broke loose on a long run and then Cruz Caballero followed with a nice run of his own.
Ash Fork’s defense stiffened at the 21-yard line and held the Phantoms to one yard on two running plays. On third-and-nine, Godinez came up with an 11-yard run to move the chains. Hopkinson then scored on a nine-yard run around the left end.
Hopkinson scored his third TD of the game moments later with a 39-yard interception return to account for the final score.
In the second game, Grand Canyon took the win in a defense-dominated contest. The Phantoms went up 6-0 in the first quarter on a defensive touchdown.
Ash Fork had stopped Grand Canyon on fourth down at the 5-yard line, but when the Spartans took over on offense, the Phantoms’ Godinez came up with the pick and walked into the end zone from nine yards out.
Ash Fork tied the game, 6-6, which held up into the third quarter. The Phantoms took the lead for good in the third on a touchdown pass from Hopkinson to Eric Vessey and successful two-point conversion run by Caballero.
In the fourth quarter, Ash Fork was unable to get a first down on two drives. Vessey and Godinez had interceptions to end both series.
Grand Canyon (2-0) and Ash Fork will meet again later this season after spring break.
GCMS B team downs Parks
The Grand Canyon Middle School volleyball team lost three of four matches Saturday in a home appearance against Parks Maine and Ash Fork.
In A-team action, Ash Fork posted a 15-1, 15-0 victory over Grand Canyon. The middle-school Phantoms had problems with serve reception and passing and could never really get any plays set up.
The lone point in the match was scored on a powerful serve by Yolanda Bitsui.
Grand Canyon finished the day with a thriller vs. Parks Maine. The Mustangs took the early lead with a 15-5 victory in the first game. The Phantoms turned their fortunes around in the second game for a 15-9 win. And in the third game, Maine held on for a 15-12 win to take the match.
Grand Canyon also played two B games. The Phantoms defeated Maine, 15-3, 15-12 but lost to Ash Fork, 15-0, 15-3.
Grand Canyon’s next action is scheduled for April 11 at Seligman.