The Douglas Chargers had two teams playing for the Southern Arizona Youth Football League (SAYFL) championship Saturday at Stone Complex in Sierra Vista.
The peewee Chargers capped off an undefeated season with a 28-12 win over the Sierra Vista Spartans.
The midget Chargers had their unbeaten streak come to an end when they fell 20-18 to a Benson team they had defeated 26-14 Oct. 5 in Benson.
In the peewee championship game, Sierra Vista took advantage of its opening drive of the game to move down the field for a touchdown taking a 6-0 lead following the missed extra point.
The Spartans added another touchdown in the second quarter, but again missed the extra point and led 12-0.
Cesar Gaxiola ran the ensuing kickoff back 60-yards for a touchdown, providing the spark the Chargers needed to get going. Ivan Higuera ran the two-point conversion in cutting Sierra Vista’s lead to 12-8.
On the ensuing possession Gaxiola picked off a Sierra Vista pass. Three plays after the interception, Diego Lopez connected with Andres Ortiz who at first bobbled the ball before securing it, and then used his speed to jet away from the Spartan defense on his way to the endzone, giving Douglas a 14-12 lead at the half.
Fabian Hernandez had a 35-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Gaxiola scored again in the fourth which was followed by Hernandez’s two point conversion, giving the Chargers a 28-12 lead.
Stats provided to The Dispatch by the Charger peewee coaches had Higuera with 11 carries for 84-yards and a halfback pass completion for 17 yards. Quarterback Lopez was three of five in passing for 99 yards. He also had three carries for three yards. Christopher Alvarado had five carries for 34 yards; Gaxiola had two touchdowns in the game; three carries for 50 yards, a 60-yard kickoff return and an interception. Hernandez had five carries for 47 yards, a TD and a two point conversion. Justin Hurtado had one carry for one yard and three receptions for 29 yards; Ortiz, one TD reception for 60-yards.
Defensively, the Douglas coaches credit Matthew Hudson, Hernandez, and Higuera for keeping Sierra Vista scoreless in the second half.
The peewee Chargers, coached by Guy Hudson, Albert Ortiz and Mario Hurtado along with Florencio Lopez, Octavio Fimbres, and Jessica Richardson who serve on the staff but in auxiliary capacities, end the year 8-0. This is the second consecutive season Hudson and Ortiz have coached a Charger team to an undefeated season. The duo did it last year in the mighty mite division.
In the midget game that followed, Douglas fell behind early, trailing 14-0 at the half and trailed 20-0 in the third before finally getting its offense in gear.
Midget quarterback Isaac Higuera had a one-yard TD run and Kenny Nelson followed with the two point conversion making the score 20-8. In the fourth, Higuera scored again and then hit Emiliano Berthely for the conversion cutting Benson’s lead to 20-16.
With time running down in the game, Benson was facing a fourth down at their own five-yard line. Instead of punting and risk having the punt blocked, the Bobcats chewed up some valuable seconds running around in the endzone before giving up the safety to Douglas making the score 20-18.
Douglas mishandled the ensuing kickoff, which Benson recovered allowing the Bobcats to run out the clock and hand the midget Chargers their first loss of the season as they finish the season 8-1.