From the opening kickoff, Sunnyside pushed the tempo against Nogales.
The Blue Devils ran, ran again and ran some more until they finished with a 36-21 victory over the visiting Apaches.
Sunnyside (4-2) is a young team that starts a handful of sophomores on offense, including quarterback Bobby Rodriguez. But the team’s workhorse is 5-foot-6-inch senior running back Daniel Bonn.
“He’s not big, but he puts in the work in the weight room, on the field and never complains,” Sunnyside head coach Glenn Posey said of Bonn. “Our offense is predicated on discipline and when you have a guy like him, he pushes the tempo and is someone the young guys look up to.”
The Blue Devils offense racked up 464 total yards Friday night; 260 of them came on the back of their small-but-sturdy leader.
Bonn carried the ball 24 times for 247 yards and had one rushing touchdown. He also caught a 13-yard pass.
“We’ve been riding his back all year,” Posey said. “Doesn’t matter how small he is, his shoulders are wide.”
Sunnyside jumped out to a 10-0 lead before the Apaches rallied.
Nogales scored two touchdowns on drives dominated by short, quick passes. Sunnyside maintained a 16-14 lead at the half after Rodriguez’s 3-yard touchdown run.
The Blue Devils pulled away in the second half thanks to an opportunistic defense. The unit forced three turnovers — two interceptions and one fumble — on three consecutive possessions.
Cornerback Gerrado Fierros’ interception and 60-yard touchdown return gave Sunnyside some breathing room. The Blue Devils scored 13 points off the takeaways, and held a 36-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Friday’s loss ended Nogales’ three-game winning streak and dropped the Apaches to 3-3.
The Blue Devils (4-2) have won two straight. Sunnyside opened the season with two straight wins before falling to Salpointe Catholic and Tucson High.
Friday night could be the start of a longer streak, Posey said.
“We want to win two more, then two more, then two more,” the coach said.
“... This win gives us more confidence when we play Cienega next week and the games after that.”