Artichokes head to bowl game after victory over Mesa


Riley Pendleton/ Northeast Valley News Staff Photographer

Cynthia Tapia, Reporter

The Fighting Artichokes advanced to The Valley of the Sun Bowl on Saturday—ushering in the chance to host a bowl game—after their conference win over Mesa Thunderbirds, 38-22 ending with a 6-3 record.

Early momentum went to Mesa when they scored double digits in the first few minutes of the game, 10-0.

But Scottsdale running back, Alec Wyble-Mezascored the first of his two touchdowns for the night, and with the extra point secured by kicker Zachary Hellman, the Artichokes advanced to 7-10 at the end of first quarter.

Scottsdale’s defense played a major role in Saturday night’s win by applying consistent pressure on the Thunderbird offense.

Defensive back Tavion Allen addressed the impact of the Artichoke defense on the win.

“I knew if we got turnovers we would win this game,” Allen said.

Allen would go on to be named defensive player of the week completing two interceptions for a total of 87 yards, and 10 tackles, nine of which were solo.

“I just knew I had to make a play on the ball,” Allen said.

Artichoke quarterback, Albert Howard, threw 127 passing yards, 3 touchdowns and rushed for one touchdown.

The leading receivers for the game were Devin Neal and Amonte Phillips.

Neal took one touchdown and five catches for a total of 57 yards for the night—ranking him as No. 2 in the NJCAA.

Phillips took one touchdown and two catches for 41 yards.

Hellman was named special teams player of the week ending his debut with nine punts for 345 yards. At 58 yards he completed the longest field goal kick and was 5 for 5 on point after touchdown (PAT).

“This one feels good, we’re where we want to be but 7-3 sounds a whole lot better than 6-4,” said Artichoke head coach, Doug Madoski.

Madoski addressed the focus for the team heading into the final game of the season.

“There is no question that we’re working our tails off – at the end of the day we just need to keep doing what we’re doing,” Madoski said.

Scottsdale will host Glendale Community College on Saturday Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. in the final game of the season.