The Mayer Wildcats issued a powerful statement in the first round of the 1A state playoffs Friday night in Mayer.
Four different players scored touchdowns in the Wildcats' breakout second quarter and the defense returned two interceptions for scores before halftime as Mayer pounded its way into the Elite 8 with a 57-6 thrashing of Duncan.
Mayer, the West Region's 2-seed, will travel next week to take on North Region 1-seed Mogollon, which was idle Friday night.
Aaron Sullivan started the scoring frenzy for Mayer with a 45-yard interception return for a TD with 7:53 left in the opening period at Mathern Field.
The Wildcats took total control in the second. Jacob Martinez rushed in from six yards out, Ian Mills ran in from 10 yards out, Daniel Mendoza scored a four-yard run, and Junior Ontiveros returned another pick 30 yards to paydirt.
The score was a merciless 38-0 at halftime. By the fourth quarter, the Mayer JV team took the field.
Mills finished the night with 71 yards rushing on 12 carries. Sullivan recorded 22 tackles on defense, and Marco Flores added 17 more tackles.
The winner of next week's Mayer-Mogollon clash will qualify for the 1A State Semifinals Nov. 8 at Apache Junction High School.