Foothill’s offense produced just three points through three quarters on the road Friday against No. 4 Canyon Springs in a Class 4A Sunrise Regional quarterfinal.
But the Falcons stuck with the game plan, and the wheels came off Canyon Springs’ wagon.
Foothill frustrated the Pioneers in every way possible and scored 29 fourth-quarter points to shock the Pioneers with a 39-17 victory.
Foothill scored four times in the final quarter — including a pair of Isaac Oliva touchdown runs and Marquies Jerkins’ 70-yard interception return — and sacked Canyon Springs quarterback Diamante Burton in the end zone for a safety.
Plus, the Pioneers were hit with four unsportsmanlike penalties, three holding calls, and lost a key fumble.
“We knew if we could get the football we could wear them (Canyon Springs) down with our up-tempo offense,” said Foothill coach Marty Redmond, whose team had the ball for less than eight minutes in the opening half. “We got the ball, moved up and down the field and took over the game. Once we had the lead, our offensive line did their job.”
The Falcons (6-4) gained only 113 total yards in the opening half and benefited from a 93-yard kickoff return for a TD by Brandon Hargis in the second quarter but exploded for 217 in the second half — 212 of those were on the ground.
Down by seven points late in the third quarter, the Falcons put together their best march of the night, going 69 yards in 10 plays with Jordan Wilson scoring from 1 yard out to tie the game at 17.
After an exchange of possessions, the duo of Blake High and Kealii Maruyama sacked Burton in the end zone for a safety and Foothill led for the first time since the first quarter.
On its next series, it was all Oliva, as the junior carried the ball six times, including the 4-yard score.
The wind left the Pioneers’ proverbial sail after Jayvion Pugh’s fumble, setting up Foothill at the Canyon Springs 41-yard line. Five plays later, Oliva scored from 11 yards out, and the Falcons were comfortably in control.
“This is a huge win for our program,” Redmond said. “We haven’t done that well in the playoffs lately, so to get a win like this feels great.”