If the season began with a walk for the Canyon Del Oro Dorados, it certainly ended with a sprint. The Dorados (7-3) ended the year with a 49-0 thumping of Amphi (3-7) last Friday on Senior Night at Canyon Del Oro High School.
“We’re starting to figure it out,” said Dorados coach Dustin Peace. “This was a huge game for us. Last week (against Marana) we came out slow.”
After losing their first two games, the Dorados won seven of their next eight games.
The only loss came at the hands of Salpointe Catholic, the No. 3 seed in the Division II playoffs. The Dorados finished No. 10, and they will hit the road and take on No. 7 Tempe Marcos de Niza on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Dorados opened with two big plays against Amphi.
First, there was a 36-yard run by senior Blake Martinez, and then a 32-yard touchdown pass from senior Cooper Smith to fellow senior Robert Metz, which resulted in an early 7-0 lead.
Martinez ran 16 yards for another touchdown and a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Martinez finished with 155 yards rushing and three touchdowns on only seven carries. He has scored seven touchdowns in the last two games.
“The game meant so much,” Martinez said. “It was our last night on the field, and we started focusing the game.”
The next carry for Martinez, on the Dorados’ first play of the second quarter, was a handoff that he took 70 yards to hit pay dirt and for a 21-0 CDO lead.
The good news for the Dorados is that Martinez, who wore a cast this season, is finally healthy.
“I’m getting my muscle back,” Martinez said. “My shoulder is better.”
Martinez finished the regular season with 651 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns, and averaged 10.5 yards per carry.
Jason Vartanian ran for 83 yards and a touchdown. He finished the season with 661 yards rushing, six touchdowns, and a 6.9 average per carry.
On the final series of the second quarter, Smith completed a pass to Metz for 40 yards. After a penalty pushed the Dorados back 10 yards, Smith hooked up with Metz for 49 yards and a touchdown, for a 42-0 halftime lead.
Metz finished with three catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Smith completed four of his six passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
While the win itself against a losing team might have seemed insignificant, Peace was happy with the opponent.
“Amphi is a physical team,” Peace said. “We played physical defense, and this was our first shutout of the year.”
Martinez pointed out that the team is getting healthy.
“We’re making a run for it,” Martinez said. He also pointed out that the Dorados’ tough schedule probably helped prepare the team for the playoffs.
The realignment of 2011-2012 certainly gave CDO a tougher schedule than they had the previous two seasons, when they went unbeaten.
Three of the team’s opponents – Salpointe, Ironwood Ridge and Tucson – made the Division II playoffs, while perennial powerhouse Williams Field earned a playoff spot.
Chavez and Flowing Wells had winning records. Catalina Foothills finished at 5-5.
“This was a great finale for the season,” Peace said.