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Saturday, February 6th  2016                         
Kevin Pakos - S&E News / ASPN Radio Special for the AzFL.

         Crusaders Invade Cave Creek, Slay Dragons!

  The mountains of Cave Creek could not spare the horde from the blade of the Crusaders as they hunted down and without mercy, slayed them all. After the smoke cleared and the 28-7 victory was won, they all went together to Denny's because that's how they roll. The Head Coaches of the the CRU Byron and his wife Lynn came prepared. Last season they made it the State Championship game and finished as runners-ups. They started the 2016 campaign with something to prove. Scottsdale added some new coaches, Garrett Norris as DC and Bronson Bartlett OL/DL, the men brought leadership to a very young squad and helped pick up the win in week one.

The Cave Creek Dragons made some off season adjustments as well. Head Coach and owner Sean "Dragon Master" Enna invited Steve "All I do is Win" Pappas to come run the offense. He agreed and the team is already seeing postive results on the field in performance and leadership. Time of possession, an issue in 2015 saw big improvement. It appears that the injury bug still makes it's home in the dark, misty valleys of Cave Creek. By the time the fourth quarter had arrived the Dragons were on their third quarterback. The starter, Chad Harris (Boulder Creek HS, PVCC) fell and was replaced by Jorge Guterrez  then he was wacked. Finally in came Jerome "Rome" Dumas to see if he could help the team. He did and an aweseome TD drive was the result.

Now Steve is a good coach but he cannot play a man that is on the sidelines being repaired. Even with the setbacks, he and his final hope "Rome" put together a nice scoring drive late in the fourth quarter. A series of runs followed by a 40 yard pass completion and they were at the five yard line of the Crusaders. The CRU defense is made up of some pretty big fellas. Things did not look good for the beat up Dragons offense. In fact, they looked Dismal. Which, as it turns out can be a good thing. Steve Pappas

The Dragons played the percentages and ran the ball between Big, Bigger and his Brothers. What could go wrong? The big running back, a veteran of the turf wars, James Dismal took the hand off and suddenly found himself stuck between 900 pounds of granite. Some how, some way, he kept moving, fighting and popped into the end zone for six points. An amazing run that should not have happened gave the Dragons some fire. They added the extra point and managed to stop the CRU from using the remaining time for any more scores. It was happy, happy, joy, joy in Dragon Land. Yes, they lost the game, but they won the battle of the mind, the heart and the proved they were a no quit team. Somewhere in the mist stood, the Pappas, smiling. Knowing. It is a good thing to be the Pappas, and a Dragon.

The Crusaders played a good game on both sides of the ball. Their defense was solid, forced turnovers and set up scores. On offense for the CRU, the points came from QB Xavier Hicks (2 TD) and Skylar Bowman (2 TD) I don't want to forget the footwork of one Parker Brubaker (Ironwood HS, Kicker, Punter, kick offs, BU QB, WR, DB) and his four extra point kicks. It was a good start for Scottsdale and gives them a chance to focus. They have a lot of new players at new positiions and returning players at new positions. The strength of the team is both it's offensive and defensive lines. On the "O" Todd Felte (Indiana U) is the vet that sets the pace. He and Andy Bandin (Agua Fria HS) have been doing this for a while now in the Arizona Football League. On the "D" the pace and tone is set by the anchor, literally, Sefita Vaki. He and his band of brothers stalk, stop then destroy their prey.

xavier hicks qb For the Crusaders the MVP's were QB Xavier Hicks (Washington State) for offense he threw for two and ran for two touchdowns. On the defensive side Sefita Vaki (Mesa CC) with five tackles for a loss and about a dozen "Uh Oh's" that you could hear from the stands when a ball carrier realize who was in front of him. (language changed to uh oh's to protect the sensitive eared ones) fi
The Dragons had some players step up on opening day and we at ASPN Radio took notice and hereby grant them these honors. Like the CRU the Dragons have their own larger than life beast on the defensive line. Someone we all have to look up too. G or Guillermo Reyes (Peoria HS) was seen running, pushing and even flying in on tackles, he finished with 6 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Then the Wrecker, James Dismal (Northern MD, PCC) tho he ran into the valley of death, he punched through to give his squad a new identity, punishers, they now be know as..... To see the video of the TD run, go to FB. Also shining for the Dragons were Anthony Winston with 8 tackles. Plus WR David Miller with two catches for 59 yards. G
Scottsdale Crusaders 1-0   Roster Photos  14 7 0 7 28
Cave Creek Dragons 0-1   Roster Photos 0 0 0 7 7

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