By Greg Perkins
Snowflake is headed to the state football tournament with a ton of momentum, having won a fifth straight game with a 39-0 shutout at Safford last Friday night. With the Lobos’ only losses of the year coming without Chase Walden in the lineup, the outstanding quarterback has returned with a vengeance to lead the Snowflake squad. Walden completed 19 of 22 passes for 254 yards with three touchdowns and no picks in a dominating performance by the Lobos.
Rick Shumway broke into the scoring column with 3:27 left in the first period on a 22-yard catch from Walden. Early in the second Nick Hall hauled in a 55-yard toss from Walden. Just two minutes later Braccin Tanner scored on a 28-yard scoring throw, pushing the lead to 20-0. Walden closed out the first half with a three-yard run for pay dirt midway through the second, giving Snowflake a 26-point halftime cushion.
Hall scored on a three-yard run in the third period and Levi Caldwell scored the final points of the night on a three-yard run in the fourth, giving Snowflake its eighth win of the year against just two losses.
Hall was the leading receiver with three catches for 80 yards. Tanner made six grabs for 54 yards. Doug Brimhall had five receptions for 49 yards. Shumway had two for 43 and Dallin Merrell had two for 28 yards.
On the ground, Shumway gained 88 yards on four runs. Merrell rushed nine times for 66 yards. Tanner had seven runs for 33 yards and Walden rushed 12 times, picking up 28 yards.
In total, the Lobos racked up 537 yards of offense.
Snowflake’s two losses were against Blue Ridge and Show Low, and both were without Walden at quarter-back. If he continues on the streak he has been on, Snowflake may have a chance to pull a huge upset in the state playoffs, which begin this week.
Snowflake enters the playoffs as the fourth ranked team and will host No. 13 Payson on Friday night, Nov. 2. The Longhorns are 6-4 on the season, but have struggled against good teams. Snowflake is certainly a good team and with a win, would move on to face either No. 5 Estrella Foothills or No. 12 Empire next week. Playing as the fourth seed, with two wins the Lobos would advance to a likely rematch with top ranked Blue Ridge in the semi-final round.
By Greg Perkins