Scottsdale outlasts Dodge City for Valley of the Sun Bowl Title
December 7, 2013
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Powered by 182 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Za'Quan Summers (#36 right) and three touchdown passes from quarterback Blake Decker, Scottsdale (Ariz.) won its first bowl game in program history with a 50-42 victory over Dodge City (Kan.) in the 2013 Valley of the Sun Bowl on the Artichokes’ home turf Saturday.
After a somewhat quiet first half where Scottsdale inched out to a 15-14 lead, the offenses of both squads lit up the scoreboard with a combined 63 points in the second half.
Trailing 36-35 early in the fourth quarter, the Artichokes took the lead for good when Summers slashed through the Conquistador defense for a 61-yard touchdown. A successful Matt Kirwan extra-point gave Scottsdale a 42-36 lead.
The Artichokes then forced Dodge City to punt on its ensuing possession. Facing a third-and-eight on its own 38-yard line, Decker connected with Steve Bell for a 62-yard touchdown pass. A Scottsdale two-point conversion increased its lead to 50-36 with 9:40 remaining.
Dodge City tried to muster a comeback but Scottsdale’s defense was able to put considerable pressure on quarterback Deondre Ford, forcing an interception by Teddy Rebun with just under seven minutes to play. Ford did punch in a one-yard TD run with 1:10 remaining in the game to make the final score 50-42.
Tyrone Thomas was a one-man wrecking crew for the Conquistadors, rushing for 258 yards and four touchdowns to earn MVP honors for Dodge City. Summers, who averaged 10.6 yards per rush, was the Artichokes’ MVP.
Ford completed 16-of-29 passes for 224 yards with one interception and a rushing touchdown. Decker completed just nine passes for 221 yards, yet three of his completions went for touchdowns.
Scottsdale, who entered the contest ranked fourth in the NJCAA, finishes the season at 9-1.
Making its first bowl appearance since 2005, Dodge City entered the game ranked 19th and ends its 2013 campaign with a mark of 6-4.
Photo courtesy of Wade Richardson, SCC Audiovisual Technician