Pueblo and Sunnyside will meet for the 44th time since 1962 tonight when the Warriors travel to face their Southside rival in an inter-sectional game.
The Warriors, the only unbeaten team of the 4A Kino at 3-0, trail in the series 31-12 including a 21-14 loss at home last year to Sunnyside. The Blue Devils, of the 5A Southern, are 1-2 under coach Glenn Posey, who has returned to his alma mater after coaching the last three years as an assistant at Pima College.
Posey is known for his no-nonsense style of coaching developed after being around established coaches such as Don Klostreich and Richard Sanchez during his playing and coaching career with the Blue Devils.
.@PuebloFootball @coachBSanders18 carrying on the Dick Tomey legacy as are Sahuaro coach Scott McKee and Desert View coach Robert Bonillas. Combined, the head coaches who played for the late Tomey at Arizona are 9-1 so far this season. pic.twitter.com/oJWqTnzSEN
Pueblo coach Brandon Sanders, of Arizona football and Desert Swarm fame, also coaches with an intense style that gets the most out of his players.
The Warriors are in their sixth season with Sanders as the head coach and he has compiled one of the better winning percentages among coaches in Southern Arizona at 36-19 (.655). His t-shirt worn at practice this week very visible for the unbeaten Warriors to read: “Nobody cares. Work harder.”
Posey also has a winning record — 50-38 (.568) — in his ninth season as a coach at Sunnyside and Flowing Wells.
An interesting matchup will be Pueblo’s stringent defense that has not allowed more than two touchdowns in a game this season (average winning margin of 17.7 points) going against Sunnyside’s emerging offense behind freshman quarterback Deion Conde (fourth in Southern Arizona with 462 passing yards) and all-purpose playmaker Angel Cano (14 receptions for 157 yards).
Pueblo counters with tough-as-nails linebacker Julian Lopez, who is also an accomplished running back rushing for 172 yards last week in the 41-15 win over Cholla. Aggressive linemen Christian Peru and Jesus Prado will likely try to put the heat on Conde in an attempt to rattle the youngster.
The following are video interviews compiled from some of tonight’s participants:
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.