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2021 RECORD: 7-3
- After a successful first season under coach Phillip Steward, Marana will be motivated to reach the state playoffs after coming up short last season despite a 7-3 record. The Tigers return two of the most prolific offensive players in the state as seniors — quarterback Elijah Joplin and receiver Sam Brown.
- The Battle of the Boot, won last year by Marana at home against neighborhood rival Mountain View, will resume again in the fall as the season-opening game Sept. 2 at Mountain View. The Tigers’ victory ended a 10-game losing streak to the Mountain Lions. The Battle of the Boot was in hiatus for six years because a fight in the stands in the 2014 game made the Marana School District put a hold on the series.
- Marana’s other non-region games include a couple of long trips to Buena (Sept. 9) and Cienega (Oct. 7) as well as two home games against two more quality opponents — a very experienced CDO team (Sept. 23) and a Mesa Westwood Class 6A team (Sept. 30) that finished 6-4 last season.
- Marana plays three of its five 5A Sonoran games at home, including a game against Sunnyside on Oct. 21. The teams played in a classic game last fall at Marana when the Tigers rallied from a three-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter to win 36-35 behind Joplin’s 398 yards passing.
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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. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.