Second quarter explosion leads Jacks to first road win
The Quincy High School football team scored three touchdowns in the second quarter on its way to a 26-6 victory in Grandview on Friday evening, Sept. 20.
Senior Isaiah Ayala led the Jacks with two touchdown passes, one touchdown run, and another on the defensive side of the ball with an interception returned for a score. Senior receiver Nathan Ortiz caught both of Ayala’s touchdown passes.
Ayala stepped in for senior starting quarterback Israel Cavazos early in the game when Cavazos exited after aggravating a shoulder injury taking a sack. According to Head Coach Wade Petersen, Ayala played quarterback during summer scrimmages and has experience at the position.
“[He’s] super smart, knows our system, really understands what’s going on,” said Petersen. “He played really well tonight, he was dynamite.”
As for Cavazos, Petersen said the team would re-evaluate the injury before next week’s matchup with Othello, adding, “We’ll see what he looks like and how he’s feeling.”
The Jacks were shut out in the first quarter, punting twice and turning the ball over on downs on another possession. The Jacks’ only score of the quarter; an interception returned for a touchdown, was negated due to penalty. The Greyhounds converted a field goal attempt in the opening quarter and took a slim 3-0 lead into the second.
The Jacks opened the second period returning a punt nearly 90 yards for a touchdown, only for that score to be called back as well due to penalty. Grandview would pick off the Jacks on the ensuing possession before converting another field goal to bring Grandview’s lead to 6-0 with 8:25 left in the half.
“When we make big plays like that and they get called back, it can be really deflating,” said Petersen. “Our kids did a really good job tonight of staying focused and finishing the game off in a good way.”
From then, the Jacks never looked back and scored 26 unanswered points to close the contest. It started with a big kick return to midfield by senior running back Ruben Vargas. Ayala then connected with Ortiz a few plays later for their first touchdown of the evening, a 14-yard strike that tied the game with 7:26 remaining in the half.
After a Greyhound punt on the following possession, the Jacks’ offense went back to work and Ayala scored on a long, 53-yard quarterback keeper. The Jacks’ two-point attempt was no good, but their lead had grown to 12-6 with about five and a half minutes left in the half.
After forcing a fumble on the following Grandview possession and recovering it on the Greyhound 30-yard line, the Jacks faced a short field. Ayala wasted no time, finding Ortiz again for a 20-yard touchdown pass to further expand the Quincy lead.
The two-point attempt converted, and the Jacks scoring spree closed the half with a 20-6 Quincy lead.
Ayala added the last score of the game in the fourth quarter with an interception returned for a touchdown with 4:47 remaining in the game to bring the score to 26-6 after a failed two-point attempt.
The Jacks intercepted the ball again on the following Grandview possession and returned it deep into Greyhound territory. From then, the Jacks formed victory formation and ran out the clock.
The Jacks return home next week for Homecoming against league opponent Othello on Friday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m.
“This is the first league game, obviously this is what we’re playing for,” said Petersen. “It should be fun.”
By Miles King, firstname.lastname@example.org