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June 15, 2019

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Basic grabs Henderson Bowl win over Gators

Henderson Bowl

Richard Brian

Basic wide receiver Billy Weather (4), left, and linebacker Vince Lozano (61) celebrate with the rest of the Wolves after defeating Green Valley High during the 18th annual Henderson Bowl Thursday at Basic High.

Beyond the Bowl

Henderson Bowl XVIII did more than just determine the Southeast Division winner, it capped off the turn-around of one senior class and the comeback of one senior player. Watch as Green Valley and Basic battle it out for the Bowl, the City Championship and the Number One seed in the playoffs.

Henderson Bowl

Green Valley High kick returner Derrick Stevens (12) returns a kickoff for a touchdown Thursday during the 18th annual Henderson Bowl against Basic High School. Launch slideshow »

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The biggest Henderson Bowl in history lived up to expectations.

The Southeast Division’s top teams — Green Valley High and Basic — met in the 18th annual rivalry game Friday night, and after a 33-28 victory, the Wolves left with the Bowl, the Henderson City Championship and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

With so much on the line and facing an undefeated opponent, Basic coach Jeff Cahill said he couldn’t have asked for more from his team.

“The kids absolutely played a great game under a lot of pressure and that says a lot about how they should react next week,” Cahill said. “The best thing is, in our three losses this year, we ended each game with the ball and a chance to score. That says a lot. I believe — and these kids believe — we can play with anyone in the state.”

With the score tied at 14 early in the second half, Green Valley began a drive from the 1-yard line. Anthony Ireland punched through the offensive line on the first play to hit running back Quincy Bagsby in the end zone, forcing a fumble that he recovered to give the Wolves their first lead of the night.

“It felt awesome (to help the team),” Ireland said. “I just wanted to do whatever it took to get the win. I thought we performed great tonight. We just tried to do our jobs and go out and get the win.”

After a 29-yard touchdown run from senior quarterback Robby Faiman, his second of the night, put the Wolves up 27-21 to end the third quarter, the Wolves embarked on a 96-yard, 13-play, time-eating drive that ended in Faiman’s second passing touchdown.

Both touchdown passes were pulled down by senior receiver Justin Burdno, who finished the night with four catches for 81 yards while Faiman collected 126 rushing yards and 121 passing yards.

“That drive was huge. We put everything on our offensive line’s back and they came up real big,” Cahill said. “They gave Robby room to work. I think he’s the best quarterback in the state and he has a lot of weapons between Burdno, Jeff (Pozdol) and Billy (Weathers). You can’t focus on just one because they can all hurt you.”

The Wolves (7-3, 5-1) now advance to the Sunrise Regional quarterfinals, where they’ll meet Rancho at Basic on Nov. 7.

The Gators (7-3, 5-1 in league) fall to the No. 2 seed after point differential separated the three-way tie with Basic and Del Sol. The Gators will face Desert Pines at Green Valley on Nov. 7.

“That’s always the big question, can we bounce back after a loss?” Green Valley coach Matt Gerber said. “We’ll have to show some fortitude. Moving down to the second seed is a bitter pill to swallow but we have to move on and be prepared.”

While senior quarterback Nick Libonati spread the Wolves' defense by hitting five receivers for 133 yards, Bagsby was able to pick up 113 yards on the ground with three touchdowns.

“We tried our hardest, we just couldn’t get going,” Bagsby said. “We have to put this behind us. The postseason is a new season. We have to give it all we’ve got. We might see (Basic) again.”

Jared Harmon can be reached at 990-8922 or [email protected].

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