The Red Wolves provided the school with its first region championship on Friday, and celebrated by drenching Coach Corey Noble.
Amphitheater’s homecoming game was full of emotion in the opening minutes. Amphitheater would be the only team to score on Walden Grove first so far in the season.
However, Walden Grove quickly punched the ball into the end zone three times in a total of five minutes of playing time, quickly shattering Amphitheater’s homecoming dream win.
“We’ve talked for two years about how we need to be the best Walden Grove team every night, being great on every play,” Noble said.
After the touchdown, the defensive side of Walden Grove would not let any more points to be scored. Junior Rick Avelar was a key component of that, he had 21 tackles, five of which were for a loss and 1 forced fumble.
Alex and Jordan Lopez believe that it was junior Ari Hickman’s pick-six in the first quarter, that really set the tone of the game.
“I’ve had two interceptions this season, and that being my third one while being able to get a pick-six off of it, really gave us the momentum back into the game from the little slump we had,” Hickman said.
The game started as a push shove in the first six minutes. However, one the Panthers were able to get its second shot at a drive, they scored on Walden Grove with a 50-yard touchdown.
The Panthers are the only team to score against Walden Grove first in the Red Wolves season so far.
Walden Grove would later stop the extra point attempt.
Walden Grove would get the ball and junior Alex Lopez would hit his receivers for three straight first down’s until they were in the red zone.
Senior Bradley Capen would seal the deal two short runs for the first touchdown for the Red Wolves. The extra two points would also be scored by Capen, putting the Red Wolves up, 8-6, with 3:54 left in the first.
As soon as Amphitheater got the ball back, it was taken away on a third and 10 play, with Hickman getting his pick-six. Walden Grove was now up 15-6 with a minute left in the first.
With 55 seconds remaining, the Red Wolves recovered an onside kick to punch the ball in yet again for another touchdown.
Lopez connected with junior Hector Najar for a 44-yard touchdown, making the score 22-6 in favor of Walden Grove.
Amphitheater would finally get their hands on the ball, only to punt it away in the closing seconds of the first quarter.
Walden Grove would drive at a slower pace but the end result was the same. Alex Lopez would hit Jordan Lopez for their first tandem touchdown of the night, with nine minutes left in the second, 29-6.
Amphitheater would get another chance at a drive but had a fumble on the play, forced by Hickman. Senior Evan Killgore would recover the ball for a 25-yard touchdown with 8:06 left on the clock. Walden Grove now up 36-6.
After a Panther four-in-out drive, Walden Grove would get the ball again and rinse and repeat their process. It took four plays to get ball in the end zone from the Red Wolves 49-yard line. Najar would get his second touchdown of the night putting the Red Wolves up 43-6.
This touchdown, plus a failed Amphitheater drive, would mark the end of the first half.
The second half would open with the Lopez twins connecting again but for a 50-yard touchdown. With the scoreboard reading 50-6, the AIA mercy timing would come into effect.
After the Lopez touchdown, Noble fielded the second string players.
The third quarter would end with no other scoring.
As the fourth quarter started the energy was still high for Walden Grove. Eight minutes in, Najar would also get an interception to give the Red Wolves the ball back.
With five minutes left, junior William Fortin would hit sophomore Stephen Brown for a touchdown to seal the game with a 57-6 dominate win.
Next week the Red Wolves face Palo Verde. The last time the Red Wolves matched up against Palo Verde was in 2014, with Walden Grove winning, 33-0.