Cactus Grinds Past Marcos de Niza

Arizona Sports News online

Marcos de Niza at Cactus

Final: Cactus 13 Marcos 6


Easy recap. These two teams exchanged four turnovers in the first half and seven in the second.

Marcos led 6-0 at the half on a one-yard Yakeem Bayless touchdown run but the PAT was no good. The play was set up on a 4th and 20 bomb thrown by Marcos Moreno that put the ball inside the 10.

The teams exchanged turnovers to start the second half. Cactus got the ball at their own 12-yard line and QB Mahal Lee dumped a short pass to RB Damaria Norris and he raced 88 yards for the score. PAT was good and the Cobras led 7-6.

The game didn’t get any better. Punt, fumble, penalty, turnover on downs until the four- minute mark in the 4th quarter.

On 4th and 10, Cactus opted to go for it and on an option play; Lee pitched to Norris for a 27-yard gain, putting the ball at the 21-yard line. A play later and Norris raced in for the score. PAT was blocked, Cactus up 13-6 with 3:48 to play.

Cactus safety Isaac Gilliam intercepted Moreno but Marcos forced a punt and their offense got the ball back with 29 seconds to play at the 48 yard line. Moreno was sacked by Grant Bradbury to end the game.

Final: Cactus 13 Marcos 6


This was one of the ugliest games I have ever seen. Eleven turnovers, two failed PATs, more penalties than I could count, even more fumbles that were recovered by the offense. This was not what I expected from these two teams.

Two side notes. It was well worth the price of admission to see three players I used to coach, giving back and coaching. Shout out to Apollo Ford, DL coach at Cactus and Davon Jones and Billy Rone, assistants at Marcos, for getting into coaching.

At the game I was told that Marcos head coach Paul Moro was in the hospital. Please say a prayer for him.

Game Ball

Cactus RB Damaria Norris had the Cobras two scores, an 88-yard touchdown catch from Mahal Lee and a 21-yard TD run to seal the game.