Lancers survive penalty-fest

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Johnny Pena ran for 215 yards and three touchdowns as the top-seed Salpointe Lancers won a sloppy flag fest 35-7 over Mountain View to advance to the Division II State Semifinals.

Salpointe Catholic (12-1) will face 4th seed Centennial next Friday night at a location to be determined. The Coyotes shutout Peoria Millennium 46-0.

The Lancers scored on their first two possessions and never really lost control of the game. Salpointe's defense held the Lions (8-4) to just one first down to start the contest and took advantage of short fields to seize the early lead.

Junior quarterback Andy Cota hit fellow junior Cam Denson on a swing pass that went for 33 yards to setup a four-yard Pena touchdown run and a 7-0 lead.

Pena did most of the work on the second drive, racing 21 yards to the Lions 15-yard line. Two plays later he barreled Mountain View cornerback Brandon Cruz on his way to a ten-yard score.

Salpointe shot themselves in the foot in the second quarter as they came up empty on a 12-play 80-yard drive that resulted in a missed field goal. That was followed by a turnover by Robert Wilson as he was reaching for the goal line.

Brogan Kemmerly made a beautiful catch, dragging his feet on a 15-yard touchdown from Cota to give the Lancers a 21-0 lead at the half.

The 3rd quarter was the epitome of sloppy football as both teams were continually flagged for everything under the moon. In all there were over 25 penalties for 200-plus yards.

Mountain View finally got on the board late in the quarter when quarterback Cody Rochon found Cruz over the middle for a sliding 25-yard touchdown.

The Lancers turned the ball over on their next possession and a game that seemingly was in their control was suddenly one-play from being close again.

But the Lions could never find that big play and the Lancers locked the game away on the back of Pena who carried the ball seven times for 72 yards in the 4th quarter.

Salpointe Catholic's big lineman dominated the line of scrimmage for most of the night. Both Taylor Powell and James Kurtak produced sacks for the Lancers.

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