YUMA, ARIZONA – Quarterback Tyler Rogers accounted for more than half of the Matadors offense Saturday night as he helped lead his team past Phoenix College by a final of 38-29 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Yuma.
With the victory, the 15th ranked AWC Matadors improve to 3-1 overall and 3-1 in Western States Football League play. With the loss, Phoenix College drops to 0-3 overall and 0-3 in WSFL play.
Arizona Western College wasted little time Saturday night getting on the scoreboard. Shane Ward picked up where he left off last Saturday as he scampered into the endzone from seven yards out just four and a half minutes into the ballgame to give the Matadors an early 7-0 advantage.
Just seconds later, Kevin Buford picked off a pass from Phoenix College quarterback Kevin Pantastico and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown giving AWC a 14-0 advantage.
Following the two quick scores, the Matadors went into a scoring drought as they saw Phoenix put up a touchdown in the final minutes of the first quarter and then a field goal before halftime cutting their lead to four.
In the second half, AWC struck right out of the gates as quarterback Tyler Rogers found a hole and ran in a touchdown from 45 yards out.
Rogers finished the night 24-33 for 309 yards passing and rushed 13 times for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
The back-and-forth battle continued as Phoenix got on the board again on a 68 yard passing touchdown from Pantastico to his leading receiver Londell Lee.
Lee finished with a game high four catches for 134 yards and one touchdown.
AWC then answered with a field goal and another rushing touchdown by Rogers to take a 31-16 lead.
The Matadors had another mental lapse on defense giving up a 79 yard touchdown pass from Pantastico to DeMarco Gulley to cut the lead to eight at 31-23.
In the fourth quarter, both teams scored a touchdown and in the end, Arizona Western prevailed with an eleven point win.
Up next for the Matadors is the finale of this three game homestand, as AWC welcomes Everett (WA) to Veterans Memorial Stadium in this non-conference showdown. Kickoff is slated for 7pm on September 21 and the game can be seen on AWC-TV and heard on 560 KBLU-AM, the flagship home for Arizona Western College.