For the first time since before most — if not all — of its players were born, Sahuaro defeated Sunnyside.
The Cougars took advantage of early turnovers by the Blue Devils Friday night and came away with a 37-10 victory on the south side. The win was Sahuaro’s first over Sunnyside since 1994, though the teams had met just four times in 19 years before Friday’s game.
Sahuaro improved to 8-1, while making it difficult for Sunnyside (5-4) to reach the playoffs.
“Our defense and special teams did an outstanding job today getting stops and getting us the ball in spots where our offense could easily score,” Sahuaro coach Scott McKee said.
The Cougars turned the first of their four takeaways into points. Senior quarterback Laramie Brown connected with receiver Cole Sterns for the first of his two touchdowns.
Fumbles would haunt the Blue Devils all night: They fumbled again inside their own 20-yard line later in the first quarter and once again Brown would find Sterns for a 19-yard touchdown pass.
Sunnyside, unable to put together a consistent or long drive in the first half, fumbled again in the second quarter. Sahuaro recovered and drove 74 yards for another touchdown, and built a 24-3 lead at the half.
The Cougars have multiple weapons on offense and used all of them Friday night. Sterns was Browns’ favorite target: He finished with six receptions for 125 yards. The Sahuaro senior has offers from a handful of schools, including Northern Arizona.
Derrick Hall had a productive game rushing, gaining 58 yards and scoring one touchdown.
Sunnyside finally scored in the third quarter, but the defense couldn’t contain the depth of Sahuaro’s offense. The Cougars responded with a 76 yard touchdown pass from Brown to Shyyrod Holton, his only catch of the night.
Now trailing by 20, the Blue Devils spirits would turn as their sideline became noticeably quieter. Another turnover, this time an interception, sealed it.
Sunnyside senior Daniel Bond finished with 74 rushing yards and passed the 1,000-yard mark with a fourth-quarter carry.
Sahuaro will look to extend its winning streak to eight next week, when it hosts Cienega in the final week of the regular season.
McKee said the team still has much to improve on.
“We got to work on the penalties,” he said. “I told the guys at halftime that we’ve got to keep working hard because this is a good Sunnyside team. ”