After a long wait due to the COVID-19 pandemic, high school football in Tucson finally arrived Friday night as Salpointe beat Casa Grande 39-21 to kickoff the 2020 high school football season.
It was a game of many firsts for Salpointe as they embarked on a new era of Lancer football.
Friday’s game was the first time since the 2017-18 season that people did not see Bijan Robinson in the backfield. It was also the first time since 2001 that Salpointe was led by someone other than legendary coach Dennis Bene.
With new faces all over the Lancers sideline, including Eric Rogers as the head coach for the first time at the varsity level, and facing a Casa Grande team that went 7-5 during the 2019-20 season was the perfect makings for an exciting contest.
The game matched the billing, with wild plays and long drives It came right down to the wire with Salpointe walking away with a close win.
In the first quarter, the rust of not having a “normal” off-season showed from both sidelines with a fumble lost from both teams during a seesaw first quarter.
Still, even with errors in the quarter, Casa Grande was able to take an early 7-0 lead after a touchdown run from quarterback Angel Flores showing off why he was a 1,000-yard rusher last season.
After the rusty first quarter, Salpointe came storming back, putting up 22 unanswered points on the board. It all started with an explosive 35-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Treyson Bourguet (a Class of 2022 Arizona commit) to receiver Elijah Barclay to put the Lancers on the board.
Shortly after, on Casa Grande’s following position, the Salpointe defense came up with a pick-6 from cornerback Kamden Gambrell stealing all the momentum to the home side of the field.
It seemed like a back-breaking quarter that ended with a touchdown run from running back David Cordero, giving Salpointe a 22-7 lead at the end of the first half.
However, Flores and Casa Grande would not go away. The Cougars took their opening drive and marched down the field, scoring a touchdown run from running back Jacob Thomas to cut into the Salpointe lead, making it a 22-14 game.
In the second half, the Lancers only scored seven points giving them 29 total points for the game.
This was just enough to get past Casa Grande, which made another rally and had a chance to tie the game on its final drive but would fall short on a fourth-and-8 putting an end to the game.
Although Casa Grande left the game with the loss, Flores shined against one of Southern Arizona’s better teams. He created with his feet, rushing for 84 yards and a touchdown, and kept the defense off-balanced with 98 yards threw the air.
After the game, Casa Grande coach Jake Barro talked about his team performance.
For Salpointe, they got a solid game out of Bourguet who went 7-for-10 passing with 97 yards and a touchdown.
The star of the game was Cordero who rushed for 116 yards on 18 carries with one rushing touchdown.
After the game, Rogers talked about what he saw from his team, and how they can grow from a close win over Casa Grande.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.