Benson senior quarterback Brok Determan and senior Devin Bowling led the way as the Bobcats rolled over Tanque Verde 41-0 on Friday night.
Unlike many teams in the area who saw their 2020 seasons decimated by COVID-19 safety protocols, the Benson Bobcats went 9-1 last year, with their only loss coming against Santa Cruz in the 2A state title game.
Benson returned to the field this season with a senior-laden team and high hopes. So a season-opening loss against Pusch Ridge, and a week off because of a Santa Rita forfeiture gave the Bobcats all the more motivation coming into the game against Tanque Verde.
That motivation was on full display in the fourth quarter, when Benson put up 21 unanswered points from two rushing touchdowns from Determan, and a punt return touchdown from Bowling to slam the door on Tanque Verde.
After both teams punted on their opening possessions, Benson got on the scoreboard on a 1-yard rushing touchdown by senior fullback Jace Barney. Tanque Verde junior linebacker Brayden Scott recovered a fumble on Benson’s 36-yard line in the second quarter, but Tanque Verde turned the ball over on downs. After the two teams traded punts again, Benson senior fullback Gabe Osuna scored a 25-yard rushing touchdown that put Benson up 14-0 with four minutes to go in the first half.
On Benson’s first possession of the second half, they marched the ball down the field from their 14-yard line on a drive that ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Determan to Bowling that put Bobcats up 20-0. The score remained the same until the fourth quarter when the wheels started falling off for the Hawks.
The win for Benson was the sixth straight victory against Tanque Verde.
Benson head coach Chris Determan who has the fourth-most career wins among active coaches in Southern Arizona was satisfied with the team’s overall performance.
“Overall, I think we came out; we played hard,” Determan said. “Like I said, we’ve got to get rid of some of those penalties and those kind of mistakes, but as far as playing football, we did that pretty well. We adjusted a little bit in the second half and got things going a little bit better.”
Brok Determan talked about how the Bobcats prepared for the game after the season-opening loss to Pusch Ridge and an extra week off.
“We stay humble; that’s like kind of our motto is just staying humble,” Determan said. “We really wanted to play Santa Rita last week; we get that they didn’t have enough kids, you can’t really do much about that, you can only control what you can control, you can’t control that. So, it humbled us and, we were super hungry just to play because that’s one game taken away from our seniors, and we have a lot of seniors on the team.”
Benson (2-1) plays at home against Phoenix’s NFL YET Academy next Saturday. Tanque Verde (1-2) plays at home against Tombstone next Saturday. Kickoff for both games is at 7 p.m.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writing intern Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. He is currently attending Pima Community College where he writes for the Aztec Press. Next semester he will be attending the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU where he will work towards a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies.