GILBERT — Salpointe Catholic’s streak lives on — after a narrow escape at Gilbert Campo Verde on Friday night.
The Lancers (4-0) needed a late touchdown to win their 18th straight game, 34-27 over host Campo Verde (3-2).
A last-minute drive ended with a 33-yard, game-winning touchdown pass to sophomore D.J. Hinton from quarterback Sam Muniz in the final seconds to break a 27-27 tie.
“I was on my knees praying,” Lancers junior linebacker Jacob Ksiazek said. “I had faith in Sam. I just wanted to get the ball and score.”
Muniz struggled for most of the first half, but finished the game strong, going 19 of 25 for 268 yards and three touchdowns. The senior also rushed 11 times for 69 yards.
Though the offense won the game at the end, it put the team in tough situations throughout.
Campo Verde’s defense forced four turnovers as Salpointe fumbled the ball three times — twice inside its own 20-yard line. Muniz’s lone interception on the night was returned for a touchdown.
It was the Lancers’ defense that was sturdy for most of the game and put the offense in ideal positions to score.
“We’re a defensive team,” said senior defensive back Dominic Pedrotty. “Our defense has always been good at this school and we’ll continue to make plays.”
Salpointe’s Taylor Powell finished as the game’s leading rusher with 72 yards. He scored three total touchdowns, including two in the first quarter to give Salpointe an early 13-0 lead.
“We got the ball near the end zone a lot to start the game and it helped out our offense, but we still got to work on making less turnovers,” Powell said.
Salpointe led 27-13 after three quarters before Campo Verde scored a pair of touchdowns to tie it.