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T-Birds finish season with 37-30 win over Glendale

Jenn Baluch

The Mesa T-Birds had their last regular season game of the year, against the Glendale Gaucos Oct.19 at Matt O. Hanhila Field.

They emerged victorious, defeating the Glendale Gauchos 37-30 in an exciting end to their season. T-Birds finished the season with a 6-2 record, moving them up to eleventh in the top 20 WSFL rankings.

Sophomore linebacker, Taylor Hansen, said “Take it one game at a time, keep working hard, and play Mesa football.”

Sophomore quarterback Blake Kemp led the team in passing, completing 48 of 61 passes for 551 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Kemp spread the ball particularly well, completing passes to 7 different receivers. 

Cody Saul, Michael Allen, Torrance Carr, Traveon Presley-Freeman, each went for over 100 yards receiving, while Omar Rodriquez caught 2 touchdown passes.

Saul led all receivers with 11 receptions followed by Presley-Freeman who had 10 receptions.

Although it was mostly a passing offense, Cedric Simmons and Michael Allen led the team in rushing with a combined 69 yards, with Allen rushing in for one score.

The score was 37-30 with 8:25 left on the clock,  when Taylor Hansen intercepted the ball bringing it back to midfield.

Glendale got one last chance and came close to a first down, but had two incomplete passes falling short, giving Mesa the win. 

Kemp has set a new record for competitions and has dominated the Mesa career yardage mark, obtaining the only record he has yet to hold. 

Kemp said, “Records aren’t important to me, at the end of the day all I care about is performing well for my family.”

Sophomore defensive back Demarlon Morris continues to be a factor in special teams where he had one of his two kick returns go for 57 yards.

Hansen led all defensive players with nine total tackles to go with his one interception, and sophomore linebacker Daniel Peterson contributed eight total tackles with 1 sack.

The defense had 4 sacks total, and 5 tackles for a total loss of 43 yards.

The Mesa T-Birds will host New Mexico Military Institute in the playoffs Nov. 2 at John D. Riggs Stadium.

In the previous match-up between the two teams, the T-Birds won 41-24 earlier in the regular season. 

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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