Citizen Staff Writer
GEOFF GRAMMER, RAY SUAREZ and BRAD ALLIS
Fifteen games and nearly two complete seasons into its varsity football existence, the Tanque Verde High School Hawks broke into the win column in a big way Friday afternoon.
A pair of Eddie South rushing touchdowns in the first quarter set the tone early as the Hawks beat up on Winterhaven (Calif.), San Pasqual 49-0.
“I wish our season was about one month longer,” first-year coach Jim Lawwill said. “They’re really starting to click and you can see improvement in these guys. I was so proud of them today, and I’m not an easy coach to play for.”
Tanque Verde racked up 388 rushing yards in the win behind Phillip Harlow’s 148 yards and three touchdown runs.
South added 100 yards on 10 carries and a pair of touchdowns for the Hawks.
As good as the offense was, Lawwill was equally pleased with the defense, which allowed just 78 yards of offense (30 rushing, 48 passing).
Marana 14, Pueblo 6
Thanks to a pair of goal-line interceptions, the Marana Tigers were able to overcome their own red zone woes in a 14-6 win over Pueblo.
Including a final possession kneel down, Marana failed to convert on five of its seven trips into the red zone Friday night, but Marana defenders Julius Gomez and Mike Kivi each had fourth-quarter interceptions ending Pueblo drives and sealing the Tigers’ third straight victory.
Marana (3-4, 1-0 in 4A Sonoran Region) got on the board in the second quarter by running on eight of that drive’s nine plays. Kivi capped off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run.
Kivi had 113 yards on 16 carries and also caught two passes for 31 yards.
Pueblo (0-7, 0-1) made a push right before the half. Utilizing a hurry-up offense, the Warriors drove into Tiger territory but had a 42-yard field goal try sail wide left.
In the third quarter, Marana’s Joey McKinnon burst through the line, gave a linebacker a stiff arm and strolled into the end zone for a 13-yard score to make it 14-0.
Pueblo went back to the hurry-up offense, emphasizing passes to its taller receivers, Johnathan Cruz and Jaqwan Johnson, and quickly moved the ball up the field. Benjamin Cruz finished off the team’s only scoring drive of the night with a 13-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, taking a sweep to the right and benefiting from some great downfield blocks to cut the Marana lead to 14-6.
Pueblo had one final chance late in the game with a drive starting inside its 15. Unfortunately for Pueblo, quarterback Adrian Apalategui was sacked on second down and harassed on third down in the end zone and the ball was knocked away as he tried to escape. Marana’s Kane Punt recovered the loose ball to seal the homecoming victory.
“It’s another week of this,” said Pueblo head coach Scott McKee, referring to another close loss for his team. “They keep fighting, but we are short-handed. We were missing 13 players tonight and just can’t get over the hump.”
Sierra Vista Buena 6
The Blue Devils used a 28-point second quarter to improved to 4-2 for the season.
Running back Manny Aguilar had 151 yards on the ground on 18 carries. He scored two touchdowns in the second quarter on runs of one and 27 yards.
Aguilar also scored on a 3-yard run in the third quarter.
Sunnyside quarterback Jesus Vega threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Alfred Leon caught the first touchdown pass for 20 yards in the first quarter and Marty Calles caught the second touchdown pass from Vega in the third quarter for 70 yards.
The Blue Devils are at home next week against Casa Grande.
Buena dropped to 1-5 overall and will play at Mountain View next week.
Pusch Ridge 12,
San Manuel 7
Pusch Ridge protected its unblemished 2A South Region record with a key road win over San Manuel 12-7.
Andy Knox carried the ball 11 times for 40 yards and scored on a first quarter touchdown run, making the score 6-0 for Pusch Ridge.
Kyle Kirkwood increased the Lions’ lead to 12-0 in the second quarter catching a 13-yard touchdown pass from Greg Schimke, who completed 8 of 19 passes for 124 yards.
But it was the defense that had coach Bob Vance smiling again Friday night.
“It was just a great defensive effort,” Vance said. “The defense was smothering and if we keep that up, we have a shot in every game the rest of the way.”
Pusch Ridge improves to 4-2 overall and 4-0 in 2A South Region play.
San Manuel, which got its lone score on Matt Phelps 1-yard run in the fourth quarter, falls to 3-3 and 3-1 in 2A South region play.
Mountain View 20,
Casa Grande 6
The Lions improved to 2-4 on the season after beating the Cougars, who fell to 3-3.
Mountain View’s Myles Williams rushed for 130 yards on 21 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Teammate Eric Davis ran for 127 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown.
“Our running game was very effective,” Mountain View coach Paul Schmidt said. “We really needed the win; it’s a real shot in the arm.”
Schmidt was also proud of his backup quarterback, Eric Roberts. Starter C.J. Evanson has been out with a concussion. Roberts threw for 43 yards on 9-of-13 passing.
“We’re working hard everyday and never giving up,” Schmidt said. “We’re improving by the week.”
Douglas 35, Rio Rico 0
The Bulldogs evened their 4A Gila Region record to 1-1 and are 2-4 overall after defeating the Hawks.
Douglas’ Carlos Teran threw for 153 yards and three touchdowns. Hunter Long caught two passes for 16 yards and two touchdowns.
“We dropped a lot of footballs tonight,” Rio Rico coach Rick Benjamin said. “We had a lot of plays open.
“Our defense kept it up and played quite well. We need to put it all together one of these games.”
The Hawks dropped to 0-7 on the season and are 0-3 in the region.
Douglas hosts Sahuarita next week while Rio Rico travels to Catalina.
Benson 21, Bisbee 0
Benson improved to 6-1 on the season as Dain Dastrup and Chris Taylor were big contributors on defense with 15 tackles. Oscar Cruz also had two interceptions.