Citizen Staff Writer
SUNNYSIDE 33 PHX. SOUTH MTN. 7
Sunnyside High School’s strong passing game Friday ensured the Blue Devils will again battle Ironwood Ridge.
Blue Devils senior quarterback Jesus Vega threw for 355 yards to help Sunnyside advance with a 33-7 playoff win over Phoenix South Mountain.
Sunnyside will play Class 5A Southern-II rival Ironwood Ridge in the state quarterfinals Friday. Sunnyside is 2-1 in the past two years against the Nighthawks, including a 21-14 win in last year’s state quarterfinals.
Senior wide receiver Brandon Vaughn caught two touchdown passes Friday, one in the first quarter and one in the second.
The first TD came after South Mountain defender Anthony Sanders tipped the ball and it fell into Vaughn’s hands for a 37-yard reception and a 14-0 lead.
“(Assistant) Coach (Glenn) Posey always tells us to let the ball in and I had to focus my eyes on the ball just to bring it in,” Vaughn said. “Jesus threw me some great passes. They were right on the money.”
Vaughn’s second touchdown came on a 51-yard reception to help the Blue Devils lead 21-7 at halftime. He finished with five receptions for 146 yards.
Alfred Leon was Vega’s other target. He finished with 150 yards on five catches.
Manny Aguilar had to fight for yardage on the ground but managed 55 yards on 19 carries.
Aguilar scored the first touchdown of the game on a 6-yard run. He scored again in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard run to widen Sunnyside’s lead to 28-7.
“We played in spurts,” Sunnyside head coach Richard Sanchez said. “We played real good at times and other times we let them back in the ballgame.
“The good thing is we’re moving on. We’re not checking in our gear.”