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Thu, Feb. 20

GCMS football team<br>wins first 2 games

GC VILLAGE — In the first school-sponsored football played at Grand Canyon in 14 years, the middle-school Phantoms had a successful debut Saturday by outlasting Ash Fork, 42-26, and then rallying late to defeat Seligman, 24-22.

Justin Kremer hauls in a two-point conversion pass with 3:24 left in the game for the winning points against Seligman.

Grand Canyon's eight-man flag football team walked off the field after the victory over Seligman with an unmistakable look of satisfaction.

"It was tremendous," GCMS coach Bob Hopkinson Sr., said afterward. "It was fun to see. All three teams here today were competitive."

The three-team flag football league had a delayed start to its abbreviated season when games scheduled at Seligman were snowed out prior to spring break. There will be games played this coming weekend at Ash Fork to conclude the inaugural season.

In the opener, Grand Canyon and Ash Fork played a fairly even game most of the way before the Phantoms pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Trailing 8-0, Grand Canyon scored its first touchdown on a 5-yard run by Jesse Hunter as time expired in the first quarter. Colin Hopkinson ran in the two-point conversion to knot the score.

\The Phantoms had fine moments on defense as well in the opening quarter. Emanuel Webb had a sack for a nine-yard loss on Ash Fork's opening drive and Hopkinson nailed a 48-yard punt, an exceptional boot for any level of football.

In the second quarter, Grand Canyon got things going again after Webb snagged an interception. On the ensuing play, Hopkinson found Dennis Booth on a 37-yard TD pass to put Grand Canyon up, 14-8.

The two teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter and the Spartans stayed close.

The Phantoms went up 24-8 on a 24-yard TD run and conversion run by Hopkinson. Then after Ash Fork found the end zone on a 40-yard run, the Phantoms reached paydirt again when Hopkinson broke loose on a 35-yard TD jaunt. He again added the conversion run to give Grand Canyon a 30-14 lead.

Ash Fork would not quit, however, and pulled back to within 10 with a TD late in the third. The Phantoms put the game away in the fourth on a 3-yard TD run by Webb and a 30-yard TD pass from Hopkinson to Garrison Yellowman.

The Spartans scored late on a 35-yard TD pass to account for the final score.

Hopkinson was a force in the running game with 108 yards on 10 carries. Webb ran for 40 yards on eight attempts.

Defensively, Webb and Yellow-man had sacks while Yellowman, Webb and Hopkinson each had interceptions.

Seligman followed with a shutout victory over Ash Fork to set up a thrilling finale between the Antelopes and Phantoms.

Seligman came at Grand Canyon with Vince Alvarado, a talented young athlete who scored TDs the first two times he touched the ball and rushed for 129 yards on only six carries.

The game appeared it would be a track meet early on. Alvarado scored on runs of 37 and 40 yards in the first quarter and then tossed a 19-yard TD pass.

Grand Canyon answered twice with a 34-yard TD run by Justin Kremer, who was not able to play in the first game vs. Ash Fork, and a 48-yard TD sprint down the left sideline by Hopkinson.

Important at the time were the two-point conversion attempts. The Phantoms were successful on both conversions in the first quarter on runs by Hopkinson and Kremer. But Seligman failed on one of its three tries. Still, the Antelopes led, 22-16.

The game then turned into a defensive struggle the rest of the way. Turnovers and untimely penalties stalled drives for both teams

In the second quarter, Seligman had a chance to go up by two touchdowns and had a first-and-goal at the 8. On second down, Grand Canyon's Yellowman intercepted the ball in the end zone to turn away the Antelopes.

Late in the third quarter, Booth had a big play when he tackled Alvarado for an 11-yard loss which would lead to a punt.

In the fourth quarter, it was clear the game would go down to the wire. After the Phantoms faced fourth down, Hopkinson punted the ball out of bounds to pin Seligman back at its own 16-yard line.

On the first play of the series, the Antelopes went back for a pass and Grand Canyon came up with a huge interception and returned it 20 yards to the 11.

The Phantoms found the end zone right away with an 11-yard pass from Hopkinson to Kremer on a perfectly-executed play with 3:24 left in the game.

With the game tied, the Phantoms needed the two-point conversion. Hopkinson again found Kremer on a pass for the conversion and Grand Canyon led, 24-22.

Seligman tried to make something happen late but the Phantoms' Yellowman had another interception with 1:25 remaining. The Phantoms were able to run out the clock and notch the win.

Hopkinson finished with 80 yards on nine carries while Kremer rushed for 63 yards on six carries.

In both wins, Grand Canyon had big advantages when it came to return yards. The Phantoms also played well in the trenches, anchored by center Justin Henley.

Grand Canyon (2-0) plays at Ash Fork with the same two schools Saturday to end the season.


Saturday at Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon 42, Ash Fork 26

Scoring by quarters:

Ash Fork 8 0 12 6—26

Grand Canyon 8 6 16 12—42

First Quarter

AF—1-yard touchdown pass (run good), 3:16

GC—Jesse Hunter 5 run (Colin Hopkinson run), 0:00

Second Quarter

GC—Dennis Booth 37 pass from Hopkinson (pass failed), 5:31

Third Quarter

GC—Hopkinson 24 run (Hopkinson run), 6:22

AF—40-yard touchdown run (run failed), 6:08

GC—Hopkinson 35 run (Hopkinson run), 4:55

AF—18-yard touchdown pass (pass failed), 1:18

Fourth Quarter

GC—Emanuel Webb 3 run (run failed), 6:32

GC—Garrison Yellowman 30 pass from Hopkinson (run failed), 4:52

AF—35-yard touchdown pass (run failed), 2:07


First downs 9 9

Rushes-yards 16-127 24-159

Passing yards 158 83

Total yards 285 242

Return yards 74 117

Comp-Att-Int. 10-26-3 3-9-0

Punts-Avg. 1-17 2-75

Tackles for losses-yds* 1-3 2-17

Fumbles 1 4

Penalties-yards 2-30 3-35

* Does not include fumbles for losses.


RUSHING—Colin Hopkinson 10-105, Emanuel Webb 9-40, Jesse Hunter 4-12, David Robinson 1-2.

PASSING—Hopkinson 3-9-0-83.

RECEIVING—Dennis Booth 1-37, Garrison Yellowman 1-30, Webb 1-16.

Saturday at Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon 24, Seligman 22

Scoring by quarters:

Seligman 22 0 0 0—22

Grand Canyon 16 0 0 8—24

First Quarter

S—37-yard touchdown run (run good), 7:21

GC—Justin Kremer 34 run (Colin Hopkinson run), 6:26

S—40-yard touchdown run (pass failed), 5:35

GC—Hopkinson 48 run (Kremer run), 3:36

S—19-yard touchdown pass (run good), 1:36

Fourth Quarter

GC—Kremer 11 pass from Hopkinson (Kremer pass from Hopkinson), 3:24


First downs 6 6

Rushes-yards 8-138 16-137

Passing yards 40 11

Total yards 178 148

Return yards 54 117

Comp-Att-Int. 2-11-3 1-5-2

Punts-Avg. 1-34 2-52

Tackles for losses-yds* 3-18 1-11

Fumbles 1 1

Penalties-yards 3-25 3-25

* Does not include fumbles for losses.


RUSHING—Colin Hopkinson 9-80, Justin Kremer 6-63, Emanuel Webb 1-(-6).

PASSING—Hopkinson 1-5-2-11.

RECEIVING—Kremer 1-11.

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