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Falcons’ goal within reach

Citizen Staff Writer




Catalina Foothills kept alive its playoff hopes with a 48-14 win over the host Marana Tigers.

The Falcons jumped out to a 21-0 lead on two touchdown runs by Ronnie Russo and one by Steven Dennis.

Foothills improved to 4-4 and 1-1 in 4A Sonoran Division I play.

Both teams entered the game under .500 but with a shot at the playoffs, thanks to power points and soft second-half schedules.

After Friday night, only the Falcons are still alive.

“We knew we had to win out to make the playoffs,” said Catalina Foothills coach Matt Johnson.

Russo scored on his first two touches on runs of three and 30 yards.

With Foothills ahead 14-0, an errant Marana option pitch gave the Falcons the ball at the Tigers’ 38-yard line. Four plays later, Dennis capped the drive with an 8-yard TD run.

Catalina Foothills rushed for 304 yards.

Pablo Goss led the way with 124 yards on seven carries and a score, while Dennis had 76 yards on 12 carries and two TDs. Russo finished with 46 yards on eight carries.

Marana (3-6, 1-2) scored in the second quarter when quarterback Santiago Miranda found Kane Punt for a 15-yard strike.

But Punt dislocated his ankle on the play and was lost to the Tigers for the rest of the game.

Russo closed out the first half scoring with a 4-yard run set up by a 20-yard run by Goss.

The Falcons also got it done through the air. Adam Larriva was 9 of 17 for 124 yards in Johnson’s run-based offense.

“I have a 6-foot-5 receiver (Breck Ashdown) and a really good quarterback,” Johnson said. “I’d be a fool not to use them.”

Dennis scored his second touchdown to put the Falcons up 35-7, but the Tigers answered with a 9-yard TD run by Mike Kivi.

Kivi was a bright spot for the Tigers. He rushed for 169 yards on 21 carries.

Foothills scored on its ensuing possession on a 55-yard run by Goss, and tacked on a late rushing score.

Foothills has games remaining against Pueblo (2-7, 2-1) and Cholla (0-8, 0-2).

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