Salpointe loses QB, falls short in OT
A late, unlikely touchdown wasn’t enough to save Salpointe from defeat in its season opener Friday night.
After tying the game with a 56-yard last-minute touchdown pass to junior receiver/defensive back D.J. Hinton on fourth-and-12, the Lancers fell 14-7 in overtime to Gilbert Campo Verde.
“Our kids played hard,” said Salpointe head coach Dennis Bene. “Our defense played really, really outstanding tonight, we just made too many mistakes.”
Senior kicker Donovan Miller hit an extra-long PAT after an unsportsmanlike penalty on Salpointe on its late score. Backup quarterback E.J. Galvez threw the touchdown.
“I can’t even put it into words,” Hinton said about the touchdown. “I believe in my quarterback, in all of them and I told them ‘I got their backs and they trusted me.’”
Galvez was 6 for 11 passing for 94 yards. He replaced starting quarterback and senior Roman Arvayo in the second half.
“I thought we played well, we made a couple errors but overall we played fine, we played as a team til the end,” Galvez said.
Arvayo left the game with a thumb injury, and Bene is unsure how long he’ll be out.
Campo Verde quarterback Cole Pineda scored both the Coyotes’ touchdowns, including one on the first possession of overtime, an 11-yard pass.
On Salpointe’s OT possession, the Lancers faced a 4th-and-goal from the 11. Galvez almost scrambled in for a touchdown but came up a yard short.
“It’s always a heartbreaker but who doesn’t love the pressure?” Galvez said.
“It’s kinda part of high school football,” Bene said. “But we’ve got a good young quarterback in E.J. and we just gotta firm up things.”
The Lancers lost sophomore quarterback and expected started Jamarye Joiner in July when he was dismissed from school for ‘administrative reasons.”
Hinton caught four passes for 76 yards. His touchdown made up for a fumble he lost deep in the Campo Verde red zone with 2:42 left and Salpointe down 7-0.
“In football you got to have a short-term memory,” Hinton said.
At the start of the second quarter, Campo Verde blocked a 30-yard Salpointe field goal attempt.
With 2:05 left in the half, Hinton intercepted a Campo Verde pass in the end zone.
“That was a game-changer,” Hinton said. “Coach Bene taught us to keep our heads up, no matter what and we fought and they were just the better team.”
Bene said the Lancers will be fine no matter who is under center.
“I’m really proud of my kids,” Bene said. “I knew we came up short and they feel horrible right now but there is a lot of football left.”
Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star