Controversial ending negates GCU Lopes comeback bid in 13-8 defeat
By: Mack Drake/GCU Staff
Two losses. Neither of them easy to swallow.
The Grand Canyon University Flag Football Program saw both of its teams lose in heartbreaking fashion over President’s Day weekend at Chaparral Park in Scottdale.
GCU White couldn’t cash in on a late two-point conversion in a 28-26 loss to Hitch Please before GCU Lopes had their game ended prematurely due to an on-field argument in a 13-8 defeat to Medulla Oblangatas in Week 6 City of Scottsdale 8 vs. 8 Division II action.
An argument occurred between a member of Medulla Oblangatas and a referee in the final minutes as GCU Lopes were driving to tie the game. The spat developed to a point where the official called the game early, robbing the Lopes of an opportunity to win the game. GCU was inside the opposing 20-yard line when the game was called.
GCU Flag Football Program Coordinator Justice Guerrero immediately took the issue to a member of the Scottsdale Adult League board, but is still awaiting a ruling on the matter.
As it stands, it’s a rough loss for a red-hot GCU Lopes team that had won its previous three games coming in.
“It was definitely tough to lose both games the way we did,” Guerrero said. “The worst part about the GCU Lopes’ ending was that we were driving down the field. It wasn’t a fair finish to the game.”
GCU Lopes (3-2) and Medulla Oblangatas entered halftime knotted in a scoreless defensive stronghold. The Oblangatas were the first to strike, scoring early in the second half before the Lopes answered with a touchdown pass from Tyler Henry to Dylan Sanchez. GCU tacked on a successful two-point conversion to take an 8-6 lead.
The Oblangatas later regained the lead at 13-8, giving the ball back to the Lopes with under two minutes remaining. GCU moved the ball up the field on consecutive completions from Henry, eventually charging inside the 20-yard line before the abrupt stoppage.
“It was chippy all game long,” Guerrero said. “The argument happened on the far side of the field, so we weren’t really able to hear what was said. They seemed to be going back and forth, and then the official just decided to end the game.”
The GCU White game featured four touchdown passes from Guerrero. Both teams took turns trading scores, with Hitch Please breaking a 20-20 tie with a late touchdown pass and successful two-point try to take a 28-20 lead.
GCU then drove the field on its ensuing possession, reaching paydirt on a Guerrero-to-Kyler Gargan 40-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds left. GCU’s two-point attempt to tie the game was unsuccessful, sending Hitch Please into celebration mode.
“It was a really competitive, back-and-forth game,” Guerrero said. “Both teams scored at will, and it ultimately came down to a two-point try. We fought hard, but came up a bit short in the end.”
GCU White (2-3) and GCU Lopes will finish out regular season play with a Saturday doubleheader in Scottsdale. Both teams will play other opponents in the morning before playing each other later in the day.
Interested in joining GCU Men’s Flag Football? Check out the team page to learn more!