Artichokes lose third straight to Eastern Arizona

The Gila Monsters compounded the Artichokes’ woes with a 21-17 win

Nicholas Tirella, Sports Editor, Scottsdale Chronicle

After a late field goal in New Mexico last week, the SCC Fighting Artichokes could have done with a rebound victory Saturday night against Eastern Arizona, but it was not to be.

The Artichokes lost another close one Saturday, this time against the Eastern Arizona Gila Monsters 21-17. It has been awhile since the Artichokes have had a losing season, but right now, they are 2-3.

“We’re not used to being in this situation,” head coach Doug Madoski said. “We haven’t had three loses in a season in a while so were trying to figure out how to get over this hump and were going to be tested this year. “

And tested they were this game. It was a tough battle throughout but what hurt the Artichokes the most was the offense’s inability to capitalize on turnovers. The defense was good and caused four turnovers, keeping the Artichokes within striking distance of th Gila Monsters. Middle linebacker Brian Keyes tried to let his game do the talking, but feels that he needs to step up his leadership role on the defense.

“Definitely, obviously I feel like I’m playing decent but I can do a lot better,” Keyes said.

In the second half, the Artichokes defense started to slip up, missing tackles and penalties that moved the Gila Monsters up field. But as the Gila Monsters were ready to put the nail in the coffin, they fumbled. This brought new life to the Artichokes with four minutes left in a one-score game. The Artichokes offense moved up field at a very quick pace, but the Artichokes failed to covert on a crucial fourth down from the 15 yard-line.

“We just keep killing ourselves on turnovers, mistakes with penalties and things like that,” running back Armond Weh-Weh said. “We’re trying to figure out who we are and hopefully we can by next weekend so we can get over this hump and get a win.”

Weh-Weh was the main running back for the Artichokes and played exceptionally well, as he dug deep and pounded his way through the Gila Monsters defense for tough yards gained. The offense did manage to move the ball in the game fairly well as the score was even most of the game, but could have won  if they had made the most out of opportunities created by the defense.

“It’s a tough loss,” Keyes said. “I thought we played decent on both sides of the ball but we couldn’t come together and pull off the win.”

The Artichokes will have to dig deep and find out where they want to stand in the league this year, as their next opponent is Pima Community College next Saturday.