Homecoming for the Catalina Foothills Falcons (2-2) against the Tucson Badgers (2-2) had a wet start as a storm rolled in at game time.
Students and spectators settled in the stands in anticipation of the Falcons homecoming match up against the Badgers as dark clouds hovered over the area.
Game officials were closely watching how far out lightning was detected to determine if a lightning delay would be needed. At game time, lightning was 14 miles out. Delays are called when lightning is detected 10 miles out.
The storm hit 10 minutes before kickoff dumping buckets of rain, interrupting warmups and creating a few muddy spots on the field.
Catalina Foothills head coach Daniel Sainz, in his second year with the program, on the weather and warm up delay, “Tucson High’s got a lot of talent over there. It was good to see our guys ready to go. The warmup being cut short for the rain was kind of a pain in the butt, but to see us come out of that warmup ready to go and ready to play a good ball club, it was a big day for us so it was good to see.”
The rain slowed down and the lightning stayed away, game on.
Catalina Foothills won the coin toss and elected to receive. On the first play of the game, the Falcons were reminded that a wet football can be slippery. The snap from center got away from junior quarterback Austin Bourn. The Falcons recovered the ball for a 10-yard loss.
As the rain began to slow down, the Falcons offense did not.
Austin Bourn hit senior wide receiver Cole Revis for a 35-yard gain to the Badger 25-yard line. A few plays later Bourn handed the ball off to junior running back Samuel Delgado for a Catalina Foothills touchdown. Delgado ran in the two-point conversion putting the Falcons up 8-0 with 1:54 left in the first quarter.
The Falcons added another touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter to go up 14-0.
With 3:30 left in the half, Austin Bourn hits senior tight end Tyler Tellam in the end zone to put Catalina Foothills up 21-0.
The Falcons execute a successful onside kick. Offense got the ball and drove down the field cullminating in a touchdown pass from Bourn to senior all-purpose player Kincaid Bergthold.
Catalina Foothills went into the locker room at the half up 28-0 over Tucson High.
Tucson High had a hard time getting its offense clicking. The Falcons defense was dialed in, coming up with some big stops.
Coach Sainz on his defense, “You know what, they stepped up big and it was great to see a lot of guys get in there and answer the call, again you know, coming out of that warmup we were going to be in trouble, but you know they got going pretty quick.”
Tucson High, under first year head coach Malcolm Nelson who was an assistant coach with the Tucson Sugar Skulls of the Indoor Football League, is starting a few freshmen including quarterback Derek Mesa and wide receiver Jonathon Diaz. Mesa and Diaz hooked up for a touchdown with 6:30 left in the third quarter getting the Badgers on the board.
At the end of the third quarter the Falcons led the Badgers 28-7.
Another touchdown pass from Austin Bourn to Cole Revis who got both feet down in the end zone, put Catalina Foothills up 34-7 at the 8:40 mark in the fourth quarter.
“We were able to run the ball pretty well and showed that we can throw the ball a little bit better too this week and it was a good warm up for us to get back out here.” Sainz said on the offensive results against the Badgers.
Tucson High put together a strong offensive drive resulting in a touchdown run by senior Dominic Cano, cutting into the Catalina Foothills lead 34-14.
Defense was the name of the rest of the fourth quarter and the Falcons went into victory formation to notch a homecoming win over the Badgers 34-14.
Catalina Foothills next plays at Canyon del Oro Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Coach Sainz on the matchup with the Dorados, ”You know that’s a big rivalry and I know Coach Peace is a big motivator so his guys will be hyped and ready to go. You know we had a great game with them last year and hopefully we can cross that edge next week and come out with a win.”
Catalina Foothills fell to CDO 21-14 last season.
Tucson High hosts Sunnyside Friday at 7:00 p.m.
*There may be hidden targets on the Catalina Foothills helmets. In one of the funniest and strangest moments of any kickoff we’ve seen, the Falcons kicked off to the Badgers, but the ball was kicked short and off to the side landing directly on the top of a Falcons player’s helmet.
After much discussion amongst the refs, Catalina Foothills re-kicked.
*At the end of the homecoming game, the whole student section rushed the field and circled around the players. It took a few minutes to clear the students so the team could conduct their post-game huddle.