Citizen Staff Writer
CANYON DEL ORO 14
CATALINA FOOTHILLS 0
Canyon del Oro High School’s multifaceted offense got a lift from an unexpected source on Friday.
Justin Mink, the team’s starting center, made a key play in the third quarter when he picked up a fumble from teammate Doug Steele and raced for a 20-yard touchdown.
The score solidified the Dorados’ 14-0 win over Catalina Foothills, helping the team win the Class 4A Sonoran Region opener for both teams.
The 6-foot, 250-pound senior lived the dream of any lineman, all the more important considering it gave the Dorados the cushion they needed.
“I was blocking and got upfield and looked back,” Mink said.
“I looked back and saw Doug Steele. I saw that the ball flew out of his hands . . . and I just picked it up and started running with it until I got into the end zone.”
Mink’s unlikely score wasn’t the only big play for the Dorados (6-1, 1-0).
CDO scored its first touchdown in the second quarter when Joey Webb caught a 21-yard pass in the corner of the end zone, on a play where Steele was almost sacked.
Steele struggled for most of the night and CDO running back Ka’Deem Carey was knocked out early with a hamstring injury.
“Anytime you’re in a tight defensive battle like that, any offensive play or a miracle play is something you gotta build on,” CDO coach Pat Nugent said.
“When your center picks up a ball and runs 20 yards for a touchdown, that’s a play you don’t really count on too often.”
CDO didn’t need much offense because of the dominance of its defense. The Dorados gave up only 165 yards and forced four turnovers.
They also stopped three potential scoring drives in the second half that could have given Foothills a chance to win.
“Offensively we were not as great as we wanted to be, but defensively we were outstanding,” Mink said. “They couldn’t have played any better.”
Catalina Foothills (3-3, 0-1) once again had to suffer a tough loss. While the Falcons have managed to hang around in their three losses, Foothills coach Matt Johnson and his team are still looking to get over those last pesky hurdles.
“All season long, we’ve been close,” Johnson said “When we played Cienega, we were close for a half. Sabino, we were close to the end and this game we were close to the end.
“It’s just a situation where everybody has to do that little bit extra to get us over the hump.”