Junior high Vandals take state championship

The Junior High Vandals brought home some iron, recently winning the state championship in Eloy. Photo provided.

Miami Junior High football team took the 2018 state championship in a game that was only close in the fourth quarter.

According to coach Chris Goss, it was a real championship game experience with full stands and bleachers full of Eloy fans. Even the melodious Miami band was there.

The Junior High Vandals quarterback, Andre scored two touchdowns on quarterback keepers of 35 and 40 yards by Andre Hays. Setting up the final play were a series of inside tackle rushes of over 100 yards by Jacob Goss. He was protected and backed up by Offensive linemen Gabriel Garcia and Jose Villalobos.

The third Miami touchdown came from a 50-yard touchdown pass from Hays to Jaime Pena.

Eloy managed a touchdown in the third quarter, and in the fourth quarter they adjusted their defense to the point of stalling out Miami even after long runs by Angel Pena and Jacob Goss. With four minutes left in the game, Incomplete passes and a fumble set Miami back and when they tried to punt on fourth down, a bad snap was recovered by Eloy on Miami’s 5-yard line.

In an outcome recently endured by the senior high team, their opponents scored and earned two extra points to make the score 18-14.

Miami got the ball back but faltered, getting dinged for a false start, and fumbling until they were close to their own goal, fourth down and forever to go. Quarterback, Hays could punt or try to run a play, or as a third option to take a knee in the end zone. This would give Eloy two points but leave the lead with Miami.

In any event, the decision was made for Hays when he lost and regained control of the ball in the end-zone for a safety.

Miami kicked off a teed ball which bounced off the chest of an Eloy player and back into Miami’s possession. Miami had the ball with seconds left in the game and no Eloy timeouts.

They took a knee and the game ended with a score of 18-16 for Miami.

Coach Chris Goss praised defensive end Jacob Goss and defensive lineman, Gabe Garcia and Jacob Armenta for their tackles. And he singled out Juaquin Mariscal for a fourth quarter interception.

“The team shows a lot of promise for the future,” Goss said.

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