The Canyon Del Oro Dorados finally have the monkey off their back. After an 0-4 start, the team found its first win of the season with a 36-15 win over Flowing Wells on Friday night.
Early on, it looked as if the result might be different.
After quarterback Leo Khawam led an offensive drive with completions to Brandon Eto and JJ Metz for gains of 10 and 15, the Dorados were pushed to third down and 38 following a high snap and subsequent holding call.
The next play, Khawam’s pass was intercepted by Wesley Pritchett, who returned the ball to the CDO 16-yard line.
On third and 10, Flowing Wells’ quarterback Adam Moya found Kevin De La Vara for the first touchdown of the game. The Caballeros’ two-point conversion was good, giving Flowing Wells an 8-0 lead.
But Khawam wasn’t about to let his mistake hold him back. After running back Isaac Chacon moved the ball 33 yards in three carries, Khawam finished the job with a 19-yard touchdown run to put the Dorados within one point.
The Caballeros nearly answered when a fumble recovery set them up for a 20-yard field goal attempt, but the kick was wide.
CDO’s defense held strong, forcing Flowing Wells to punt its next offensive possession, in turn setting up another drive for the Dorados, in which Khawam threw for 41 yards and ran for 32 to put CDO on the Flowing Wells seven-yard line.
Chacon ran it the rest of the way, but the touchdown was reversed after a holding call on CDO, bringing the drive to third and 12.
Khawam responded with a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Matt Sawyer, giving the Dorados a 15-8 lead after a fake punt led to a two-point conversion.
“We had a pretty good mix of run and pass this game,” said Head Coach Dustin Peace.
Despite the lead, Peace wanted more from his team heading into the second half.
“I told our guys we’re not satisfied, period, and that we needed to come out and play aggressive football and minimize mistakes,” he said.
But just as the game began, so did the second half. The Caballeros struck first early in third with a 47-yard touchdown carry by Pritchett on a fake punt.
At 15-15, the rest of the half belonged to CDO. On fourth and four on the Dorado 13-yard line, Khawam threw to Sawyer. The pass was short, but Sawyer managed to snag the ball around his defender’s back for the touchdown.
Chacon’s kick was good, bringing the score to 22-15.
On their next offensive drive, Khawam found wide receiver Robert Padilla, who ran 36 yards for the score.
It only took the Dorados about three minutes to find the end zone again. When a short punt by Flowing Wells put CDO in good field position, Chacon broke through the Caballero defense for a 49-yard touchdown carry to seal the game at 36-15.
“It was huge getting that first win,” said Khawam. “This gives us confidence we can do it. We started out slow, but we’re trying to turn it around.”
Peace addressed his team after the game to discuss the victory and their upcoming game against Salpointe Catholic High School this Friday.
“It’s a huge step in the right direction,” he said. “If you’re ready to step on the field and you believe you can win, then come to practice Monday. If you do not believe, then I don’t want to see you on Monday. Come with belief, because that’s what it is.”
Chacon led the Dorados with 17 rushes on 147 yards and one touchdown.
The Dorados will have to face Salpointe without two-way starter Max Smith, who was injured and is likely going to be out for at least two weeks.
Flowing Wells falls to 2-3 and faces Marana on Friday.