Late TD pass helps Park Vista break open close game in 14-0 win over Santaluces
Friday, August 31, 2012
by Melinda Waldrop
In a game lacking in big plays, Park Vista's Qwad Martin and Nelyja Floyd made the biggest one.
Martin's 78-yard touchdown pass to Floyd with 4:44 to play in the third quarter broke open a tight game and lifted the Cobras to a 14-0 victory against Santaluces on Friday night.
Martin, who finished the night with 114 passing yards and two touchdown passes, audibled on second-and-13 from his own 22 and found Floyd behind the Chiefs' defense near midfield. Floyd caught the pass and outraced defenders to the end zone.
"I got the ball to him and he did the rest," said Martin, who led the Cobras with 974 passing yards and 10 touchdowns and 677 rushing yards and 12 TDs on the ground last year as Park Vista went 9-1 and made the Class 8A region quarterfinals.
The long TD was crucial after the Cobras closed the first half with a 78-yard drive that consumed six minutes but came up empty, with Park Vista missing a 36-yard field goal attempt.
"You have to make key plays in rival games," Cobras coach Brian Dodds said. "They were right there. One key play from them could have changed the whole complexion of the game, but we were able to make that key play."
The Cobras -- who held the Chiefs to 35 rushing yards -- had more sweating to do, though. Martin fumbled to give Santaluces the ball back at the Park View 30 with 7:48 to play in the game. But Chiefs quarterback Sean Steele threw four straight incompletions to give the ball back to Park Vista with 6:42 remaining.
The Cobras took the opening drive -- on which Santaluces tried an onside kick but could not recover it -- 49 yards in 10 plays to go up 7-0 on Martin's 12-yard touchdown pass to Lekraig Bens.
The Chiefs missed a chance to tie the game with 7:08 to play in the first half. Steele, a senior who transferred from Lake Worth, audibled on fourth-and-goal from the 2 and threw into the end zone. The ball glanced off Ricco Jean Louis' hands.
"If I had to go it again, on the close one, maybe we get some points and kick a field goal, but we just felt like we had them where we wanted them," said Santaluces coach Daryl Drinkwater, whose team returns 11 starters from last year's 2-8 team. "It was there. We've just got to finish the play."