September 7, 2005 - David Kay ended the fourth quarter of Catalina Foothills High School's season opener against Cholla High School the same way he started it: running for his life.
Behind two game-breaking special team plays, Kay was able to seal the win for Foothills, which upset the heavily favored Chargers at Cholla High School, 28-27.
With Foothills clinging to a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter, Cholla quarterback Cody House orchestrated a scoring drive to pull the Chargers within one point, pending the point after. With 51 seconds showing on the game clock, Cholla opted to go for the two-point conversion and the win. Kay read House's pass perfectly, snaring the toss for an interception and returning it up to the 50-yard line to preserve the Foothills (1-0 overall, 0-0 in conference) win.
"We had some tough breaks down the line," Kay said. "I guess it was just being in the right place at the right time. We had a tough time at DB (defensive back) all night. We just finally came up big."
After Cholla scored on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 21-13, it appeared the Chargers would erase the once seemingly insurmountable lead Foothills held for most of the first three quarters. On the ensuing kickoff, however, the senior Kay struck for his first of two big plays, returning the kick 86 yards for his first career touchdown. With Foothills up 28-13, all the momentum Cholla had earned had seemingly been sucked out of the South Tucson stadium.
As House led the Chargers to two touchdowns with four minutes and one minute remaining, Foothills' season and defense were tested early.
"There was a sense of urgency when we were up 21-0," said Foothills head coach Mark Brunenkant, remembering the Cholla comeback. "We knew they had weapons to do exactly what they did. I was doing a lot of scoreboard watching there in the third quarter hoping those seconds would tick down."
Foothills will return to action Sept. 9 when the Falcons take on Apollo High School at home, kicking off at 7 p.m.
Around the NW
Canyon Del Oro High School started its first season in Class 4A on a high note, beating up on Scottsdale Saguaro 33-6. Aaron Tevis hauled in a touchdown pass to go along with 165 yards receiving. CDO (1-0, 0-0) will take on Tucson High School (0-1, 0-0) Sept. 9 at Canyon Del Oro High School, 25 W. Calle Concordia.
Ironwood Ridge High School's football squad got off to the start it wanted, cruising to a 51-7 win over Flowing Wells High School at home. The Nighthawks (1-0, 0-0) will travel to Phoenix to take on Moon Valley High School.
Other squads didn't fare as well as Foothills and CDO. Mountain View High School traveled north to take on Phoenix North Canyon High School. The Mountain Lions (0-1, 0-0) were no match for the Rattlers, who won 33-12. Next up for Mountain View is a home tilt against Amphitheater High School (0-1, 0-0).
A move to friendlier confines for the Marana High School football teams did not help the Tigers, who were defeated by Catalina High School. Due to lighting issues at Catalina's home field, the game was moved to Marana, where the Trojans blanked the Tigers 28-0. Next week, Marana will host Palo Verde Magnet High School (0-1, 0-0).