The Mesa Thunderbirds football team traveled to Yuma on Sept. 17 to take on The Arizona Western Matadors.
MCC was heavily out matched in the game, losing 42-0 to the now third ranked team in the country.
Coach Croshaw’s Thunderbirds we’re unable to get anything going offensively managing only 60 total offensive yards and turning the ball over twice and fumbling three other times.
The defense had no better luck as they gave up 23 points on their side of the ball.
Matadors runnig back Damien Williams led the way with 173 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
The Matardors also scored on two punt returns and a fumble recovery for touchdowns.
After the game Arizona Western head coach Tom Minnick said “We’re glad to get the win. However, we really need to cut down on the penalties, or we won’t win against the better teams in the conference.”
The previous week Mesa also failed to double their 2010 win total of one in what head coach Greg Croshaw called their “first real game.”
Croshaw said pregame, “I’m excited to get going and see where we’re at.”
The T-birds came into the game against the Snow College Badgers hot off a 49-2 trouncing of the Arizona All-stars, but weren’t able to perform as dominantly against Snow
The first three drives stalled out for Mesa quarterback Justin Sieczkowski, as the Thunderbirds offense struggled to get going in the first quarter.
A miscue committed by cornerback Tyrell Pearson and safety Darien Brunson allowed Badgers wide receiver Ronrei Lloyd to go 42 yards to the end zone, putting Snow up 7-0 after the extra point.
The Mesa offense couldn’t capitalize off of a first half Pearson interception but the Badgers however put another six points on the board with an eight-yard touchdown by running back Kapri Bibbs.
Mesa finally got on the scoreboard when Pearson took a botched extra point attempt the length of the field for two points.
On the next Badgers’ drive, Pearson intercepted a pass and brought the Thunderbirds sideline and crowd back into the game.
Even with excellent field position T-birds failed to get into the end zone.
Later in the half the T-birds intercepted a pass in the end zone for a touch back putting the Mesa offense on the 20-yard line where Mesa ran out the clock and entered halftime down 13-2.
After halftime coach Croshaw said, “It’s a learning process, maybe we should have kicked a field goal down there (off the Pearson interception), but I believe in them (the Thunderbirds), and we’ll see what happens in the next 30 minutes.”
Mesa third string quarterback Vevesi Uta didn’t approve of the spotty play of Brunson in the second half, yelling from the sideline “change up our safety, he sucks,” and questioning the play calling of the Thunderbirds coaching staff.
The Mesa offense finally came alive in the third quarter when starter Sieczkowski sent a pass flying to wide open Thunderbirds receiver Tristan McClelland for a 92-yard touchdown.
The extra point to made the score 13-9, putting the Thunderbirds back in the game in a big way.
The Mesa defense picked up the intensity, having to compensate for losing Pearson after he committed his second personal foul and was ejected from the game.
The front seven of Mesa started putting hands on the Badgers quarterback, sacking him three times in the second half and knocking him down four times.
Siezkowski brought the offense down the field, and bulled his way into the end zone late in the fourth to make the score 19-15 following a missed extra point. The score however was too little too late for the T-birds as they were unsuccessful on the on-side kick and lost in the worst fashion with Snow kneeling down the ball to run out the clock.