For only the second time in the program’s 13-year history, Tanque Verde has won its first two games in a season.
First-year coach Jay Dobyns and his staff that includes fellow former Arizona standouts Van Brandon, David Adams and Jeff Kiewel have the Hawks off to a 2-0 start after Friday night’s 48-13 win at Rio Rico.
Jim Lawwill’s 2013 team started 2-0 before losing eight consecutive games.
Never has a Tanque Verde team won its first three games. The Hawks, who went 0-10 last season, have a chance to make history Friday with a scheduled game at Catalina. The Trojans have yet to play this season because of cancelations against Palo Verde and Rincon/University due to a lack of available players.
Tanque Verde has also never put together a three-game winning streak in a season. The last time the Hawks had consecutive wins was in 2017.
“Our players are not household names because before this year, they had been buried on bad teams,” Dobyns said of his team. “They may not have notoriety and college offers of their high-profile peers, but they are every bit as good at their positions as anyone in our town.”
Tanque Verde senior quarterback Corbin Austin set the tone against Rio Rico with a 62-yard touchdown pass to Carson Jones on the first play of the game.
Austin completed 10 of 15 pass attempts for 266 yards and four touchdowns. Jones finished with seven receptions for 200 yards and three scores.
Rory Maciulla led the Hawks in rushing with 100 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown. Dillon Simmers, who had 192 yards rushing in the season-opening win against Rincon/University, finished with 53 yards on six carries against Rio Rico.
Tanque Verde’s tackler leaders included Garrett Smith with 18. Brayden Scott, who rushed for two touchdowns, had 12 tackles. Ryan Oppel had three catches for 66 yards and also tallied 10 tackles. Westin Birch had nine tackles and Mason Brady eight.
Sabino 27, Sahuaro 23
CDO 35, Ironwood Ridge 6
Not since 2010 had @cdo_football defeated rival Ironwood Ridge – seven losses in the process – but Dorado QB @Montana_neust9 and teammates put an end to that Friday by sustaining drives and keeping the Nighthawks without scoring opportunities. The story: https://t.co/AdiVuczWHz
Benson 42, Willcox 0
Walden Grove 49, Marana 35
For the second straight week, Walden Grove rallied in the second half to come out with a victory.
After beating Sahuaro 29-28 with a touchdown with two seconds left in the game and a two-point conversion for the win, the Cougars rallied from being down 35-28 late in the fourth quarter against Marana.
Duncan Hoover put Walden Grove ahead 42-35 with 11:00 left in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard run. Hoover later had an interception with about 1 minute left in the game to seal the win.
Walden Grove is 3-0 for the first time in program history. The Red Wolves’ first season was in 2012.
Marana’s top player Friday was Isaiah Roebuck, who had six receptions 206 Yards with two touchdowns. He also had 10 tackles, one fumble recovery and one interception.
Amphi 28, Flowing Wells 17
Kiko Trejo had a 57-yard touchdown run and a 15-yard scoring reception as the Panthers improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2009 when legendary Vern Friedli was the coach.
Isaiah Hill also had 4-yard touchdown run for Amphi, which is scheduled to host Rincon/University on Friday.
Cholla 28, Pueblo 27
Cholla coach Virgil Henderson, who led the program to a 6-4 record in 2015 before departing for other opportunities, won his first game with the Chargers since returning to the program.
The Chargers rallied for the win with a touchdown and extra-point in the fourth quarter.
Catalina Foothills 14, Sahuarita 6
Catalina Foothills won its season opener despite not having coach Darius Kelly on the sidelines. Kelly’s absence was not related to COVID-19, according to a KVOA-TV report.
Defensive coordinator David Class, a former assistant at Mountain View, was the acting head coach.
Sophomore running back Eden Bae had a 75-yard touchdown run on Catalina Foothills’ first play from scrimmage.
Senior tight end Garrick Krautz had an 85-yard touchdown catch.
The Mustangs (0-2) scored their only touchdown on a halfback option pass from Anthony Giarraputo to sophomore wide receiver James Minor.
Pusch Ridge 56, Florence 0
The Lions, who were ranked No. 5 among 3A teams in the AIA’s first release of ratings last week, finished their regular season 6-1 heading into the 3A state playoffs, which begin Nov. 27.
They claimed the 3A South regional title with a 4-0 record.
2020 3A South Champs (6-1)! Way to finish 56-0. 😁Thank you Lord!🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/yu9edERi6N
Hayden Hallett connected on 25-yard touchdown passes to Bryce Jewell and Evan Lovett and Ryan Fontaine also had scoring strikes to Jewell and his brother Kannon Jewell. Fontaine added a 42-yard scoring run.
Lovett, a senior who is the son of former Arizona receiver Lamar Lovett, also scored on touchdown runs of 19 and 11 yards.
Bisbee 54, Tombstone 9
Bisbee completed its season with a win to end 1-6 while Tombstone finished 0-7.
The Pumas dominated from the start, taking a 40-9 halftime lead.
1A State Playoffs
Local schools St. David and San Manuel were each eliminated in the opening round of the 1A state playoffs. St. David lost to Williams 38-20 and San Manuel was defeated 50-6 by Mogollon.
St. David finished its season 5-1 while San Manuel was 3-2.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20
Subject to change.
5A Salpointe (4-0) at 5A Desert Mountain (4-1), 7 p.m.
5A Desert View (0-1) at 5A Ironwood Ridge (0-2), 7 p.m.
5A Rincon/UHS (0-1) at 4A Amphitheater (3-0), 7 p.m.
4A Sahuaro (0-2) at 5A Mountain View (0-0), 7 p.m.
4A Palo Verde (0-0) at 5A Flowing Wells (0-2), 7 p.m.
5A Cholla (1-1) at 2A Santa Rita (0-1), 7 p.m.
4A Canyon del Oro (2-1) at 4A Catalina Foothills (1-0), 7 p.m.
4A Walden Grove (3-0) at 4A Pueblo (0-1), 7 p.m.
3A Sabino (1-0) at 4A Empire (0-0), 7 p.m.
2A Tanque Verde (2-0) at 2A Catalina (0-0), 7 p.m.
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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.