Football

Cienega’s Bolten a bolt of lightning in Bobcats’ title chase

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Competitor, lionhearted, electric, reliable, game changer, underdog, leader … these are just some of the words that teammates choose to describe Cienega senior Breaben Bolton.

But the only word that Bolton is worried about is “winning”. That is what the Bobcats have done and in fine fashion, outscoring opponents 582-216 while producing 5,322 total offensive yards.

Breaben came on late last season in a big overtime win over Salpointe. He has taken the spotlight this year mainly being a factor in the passing game, totaling 1,052 of 2,277 possible receiving yards for Cienega along with 14 total touchdowns coming in all three phases of the game.

Other teams have caught onto how much of the offense is ran through Bolton like Sahuaro earlier this year where Bolton only totaled 31 total yards but the Bobcats still managed to win 20-3.

In instances like in that game, it showed the depth in the Cienega roster as Aaron Sauls and Terrell Hayward totaled two touchdowns to help in the effort.

“Honestly, as a team me being keyed on, if a team does, definitely helps us a lot because we are so deep in skill positions that even if I’m taken out of the game we have just as good players to fill the spot,” said Bolton.

The depth of the Cienega roster has helped carry the Bobcats to the Class 5A semifinal round against Centennial tonight at Tucson High School (7 p.m.) along with many other factors including the large chip on their shoulders. Judging from their social media accounts, it seems to them they are always the underdog despite being the No. 1 seed with a 12-0 record.

“We saw our team had a lot of potential and we have been riding that confidence since the passing leagues in San Diego,” said Bolton. “We aren’t trying to prove anything to anyone. This team has one goal and it is to make it to state. Everything else is a distraction.

“But this team has been focused since Day One.”

The Bobcats were among the last teams competing in the San Diego State passing tournament and University of Arizona passing tournament. They have rode that wave since they believe they were doubted against Marana in the season opener this year.

With a David vs. Goliath matchup, No. 5 Centennial vs No. 1 Cienega, Bolton and the Bobcats have their hands full at least on paper.

Centennial is running the ball frequently with Zidane Thomas. He has 1,327 rushing yards on the season. He appears to be a fierce matchup for the Bobcats’ defense.

And at quarterback, the Coyotes’ Ruben Beltran III comes in passing for 1,368 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The Coyotes were an early favorite by The Arizona Republic. That is nothing new for the Bobcats, who will have their own firepower ready. Cienega has produced 80 touchdowns with 53 coming between 4 players — Bolton, Hayward, Dakota Poe and Jamarye Joiner.

“Week by week is our view of moving forward,” said Bolton.

One goal is in mind — the state title — for these Bobcats as they forge more and more into the spotlight, each week on a bigger stage.

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