The Flowing Wells Caballeros had nothing to say after edging Canyon del Oro 38-37 in the teams’ season opener Friday night. Instead, each player placed their index finger over their mouth and then pointed to the scoreboard.
The Caballeros were thrilled to knock off a Dorados team many thought would win handily.
“It comes from hard work and dedication at practice,” Flowing Wells running back Raashad Henderson said. “We’ve been here since January. Losing right now — it couldn’t happen.”
It wasn’t easy.
Flowing Wells accepted the opening kickoff but fumbled the return, and the Dorados recovered at the Caballeros’ 46-yard line. Five plays later, Tiki Garcia got the Dorados on the board with a 4-yard rushing touchdown.
However, the Flowing Wells defense stopped CDO’s two-point conversion attempt.
The Dorados struggled to convert on extra points for much of the night. After each of its three touchdowns in the first half, CDO attempted two-point conversions and was shut down each time.
The Caballeros scored two touchdowns and a field goal to trail 18-17 entering the half.
CDO came out of the break looking to extend the score, and once again found the end zone on a five-play drive.
This time, the Dorados decided to kick the extra point and converted. It was the last time they were able to convert after a touchdown.
CDO coach Dustin Peace said the team went for conversions in the first half because they didn’t have a strong kicker, but then switched things up in the second half, only to see the same results.
“Seems like we were just short on every opportunity,” Peace said. “Went for two on three times and half a yard short each time and then we go to kick two PATs at the end and we lose both of those and lose by one point.”
The Caballeros, however, just kept chugging along.
A Flowing Wells penalty late in the third quarter — the first of the game — helped CDO’s drive and the Dorados led 31-23 entering the fourth.
After outscoring CDO 15-6, Flowing Wells stopped the Dorado’s offense just inches from a first down, forcing a turnover on downs with a minute left on the clock. Caballeros quarterback Zachary Jurado took a knee a couple times to drain the clock.
“It was huge,” Flowing Wells coach Mark Brunenkant said of the defensive play late in the fourth.
“To be able to go into victory formation with a minute left … it’s satisfying.
“You play, practice and prepare to end in victory formation. That was fun to see.”
Steve Rocker led the CDO offense with 173 yards on 19 receptions and three touchdowns. The Dorados’ quarterback went 7 for 15 for 93 yards.
For Flowing Wells, Jurado completed 7 of 8 throws for 141 yards, and was able to move the ball well with his running backs.
Henderson ended the night with 117 yards on 13 carries and scored twice. Blake Bishop ran for 44 yards on 11 carries and scored once.
Flowing Wells next hosts Walden Grove and CDO will host Prescott — both next Friday night.