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Panthers’ defense keeps Sabercats out of end zone

Citizen Staff Writer





The Amphi football team looked like the Amphi of old Friday night.

With a good rushing attack and an even better defense, the Panthers stunned visiting Sabino, 7-6.

The Panthers held Sabino (4-1) to 198 total yards, no touchdowns and two field goals, and forced four turnovers.

The Sabercats had won 16 regular season games in a row before running into Amphi.

“Our defense played great. We threw every blitz we had at them and made all the tackles,” said Amphi coach Vern Friedli, who earned his 306th career victory as his team improved to 3-2.

Amphi’s Chris Johnson and Oscar Leon each had a first-half interception after Sabino drove into Panther territory.

On offense, Amphi notched only 151 net yards. But it had 153 rushing yards to help eat up the clock.

The Panthers completed only 1 of 4 passes for minus 2 yards.

“They are bigger than us, so coach told us to run low and stay low,” said senior running back and defensive back Chris Johnson, who rushed for 57 yards. “We came full speed and made our tackles.”

Amphi’s Damian Henry scored the only touchdown of the game on a one-yard run with 38 seconds left in the first quarter.

Sabino’s Rhett Taylor kicked a 28-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 25-yarder in the third to cut the lead to 7-6.

Damian Henry led Amphi’s ground game with 72 yards and the touchdown.

Sabino was led by Stephen Fraser with 46 yards rushing. Tyler Cocchi had a team-high 42 yards receiving for the Sabercats.

Sabino opens up Class 4A Division I Kino play next week at home against Flowing Wells. Amphi visits Catalina.

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