After a 37-0 loss to visiting Gilbert Campo Verde last night in which Sunnyside coach Roy Lopez Jr. admitted he could not take any positives from it, the Blue Devils must regain their focus with another game coming up.
The good thing for Lopez and Sunnyside is this is just not any game. This is a matchup with neighborhood rival Desert View. The Jaguars, coached by former Arizona player Robert Bonillas, will play their season-opener in that game, Friday at Sunnyside.
“They had to maroon Sunnyside. They don’t want to be us,” Sunnyside linebacker/running back Willie Rose said with disdain about Desert View branching away from Sunnyside, some 31 years ago now.
The Blue Devils (0-1) must pick up the pieces after the frustrating loss to Campo Verde last night.
They couldn’t penetrate Campo Verde’s red zone (20-yard line) all night. Sunnyside quarterback Jonathan Lopez, who boldly weathered the Coyotes’ active defense and sizable defensive line, was sacked six times.
Sunnyside had 30 yards rushing on 28 carries and Lopez completed 3 of 11 passes for 81 yards.
“We knew they were going to be pretty damn good being a (state) quarterfinal team last year,” Lopez said of Campo Verde. “They’re pretty good. What’s funny is their head coach (Max Ragsdale) and two of their coaches were freshmen when I was a senior (at Apache Junction High School). This made their life, kicking my (exterior).
“We have to learn from it. I’d rather have it happen now than later. It’s a long season. We’ll get better. I’m upset the way the boys played. I thought we were prepared. We had some turnovers at the beginning that I thought the offense should have taken advantage of … we’ll get better.”
Sunnyside’s Sebastian Olmos intercepted a pass on Campo Verde’s first possession and the Blue Devils had a promising scenario with the ball at the Coyotes’ 40-yard line. The Blue Devils fumbled on the next play and Campo Verde returned the ball 60 yards for the first score of the game.
Down 21-0 with still a chance in the third quarter, Sunnyside linebacker Jonathan Gomez recovered a Campo Verde fumble at the Coyotes’ 37-yard line.
Campo Verde defensive end Trevor Kauer, had one of his two sacks, pinning Jonathan Lopez eight yards back on the first play after the fumble recovery. On the next play, the Coyotes returned an interception 64 yards to increase the lead to 28-0 with 2:48 left in the third quarter.
Kauer said the Coyotes were prepared because Sunnyside offensive coordinator Tom Joseph, who was an assistant at Higley the last two years, had coached against them before.
“We’ve played this offensive coordinator before so we were watching film of what they did,” said Kauer, who plans to attend Army and play for the Cadets. “So we had a good idea about what they were going to do. We just came out and stuck to the game plan.”
Jonathan Lopez was forced to run 15 times (for a net minus-14 yards). Rose rushed five times for 39 yards to lead the Blue Devils.
Sunnyside’s longest gain of 46 yards occurred on the second-to-last play of the game with Johnathan Lopez’s completion to Olmos to the Campo Verde 27. In addition to his interception as cornerback, Olmos had two receptions for 56 yards.
“There’s some boys who played hard, but as a whole, there wasn’t any positives,” Roy Lopez said. “We didn’t score. We had some turnovers. We had some kids make plays but it’s not good to make a few plays here and there.”
When Rose was asked what he could take away from the game, he said, “Aggressiveness … agressiveness. Come in ready to go and being aggressive.”
“We can be a great team,” Rose added. “The only way we’re going to lose if we beat ourselves.”