To true to form, Sahuaro coach Scott McKee was all-inclusive of his analysis for why the Cougars persevered against host Catalina Foothills in a 21-14 win on Friday night.
He took the time to praise his coaching staff and his group of “special seniors”.
“Those guys get along well and they work really hard and again I’ve got good people helping them,” said McKee, whose fifth-ranked team finished the regular season 8-2 overall and 4-1 in the 4A Kino. “The key to the whole thing for us is we have to get out hot now. We’re starting to get healthy. … We’re starting to get those guys back.”
McKee and his staff have developed an us-against-them mentality to the point he has an intriguing word for what the Cougars will be doing when the playoff brackets are announced this morning. With a top 5 ranking and only two losses, Sahuaro should host its first playoff game for the first time since 1999.
“We’re going to the bunker,” he said. “The parents are bringing breakfast, lunch and maybe dinner. We’re going to be down there a long time. We’re going to try to find out whoever we’re playing and then just put in an enormous amount of film prep in.
“We learned that from this guy that film prep can make a difference.”
This guy is Jeff Scurran, the longtime coach who coached No. 20 Catalina Foothills (4-6, 2-3) for the last time last night. McKee and most of his staff played for Scurran at Sabino. McKee then moved on to a career with the Arizona Wildcats as mostly a special teams contributor.
Two significant interceptions by Sahuaro stopped Catalina Foothills threats in the second half, including a pick in the end zone by safety Damion Wright after the Falcons drove to the Cougars’ 14 with only 1:30 remaining in the game.
Sahuaro QB Izaiah Grigsby with the 13-yard TD run putting Cougars up 21-14 with 11:48 left 3Q. pic.twitter.com/dUaUWUPQD9
McKee credited his defensive staff (in video) and also stated of Wright’s interception, “It was a big stop because it could have gone the other way.”
Late in the third quarter, Catalina Foothills drove to the Sahuaro 35. Safety Jordan Bunting snagged a tipped ball before going out of bounds for the pick.
Sahuaro rallied after spotting Catalina Foothills a two touchdown lead by midway through the first half with the Falcons scoring on a 9-yard run by Dominic Bynum and a 3-yard surge by Luke Mitchell.
The Cougars managed to score twice in the last two minutes of the half, on a 3-yard run by xxxxx and 1-yard score by Izaiah Davis, to tie the game at 14 heading into halftime.
The teams were scoreless in a defensive struggle in the third quarter before quarterback Izaiah Grigsby scored on a 13-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter.