2023 High School Football

3A Championship: No. 4 Sabino vs. No. 3 Paradise Honors

Sabino coach Ryan McBrayer is coaching in a state championship game for the first time in his seven years as a head coach at his alma mater (Stephanie van Latum/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

No. 4 Sabino (10-3) vs. No. 3 Surprise Paradise Honors (11-2)

Date: Saturday

Where: Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix

Kickoff: 6 p.m.

Stream: NFHS Network (ONLY live streaming)

Sabino coach: Ryan McBrayer (56-19, seventh year at Sabino and overall)

Paradise Honors coach: Josh Goodloe (26-13, fourth year at Paradise Honors and overall)

When Sabino has the ball:

Run percentage: 46.5 percent (295 rushes)

Pass percentage: 53.5 percent (340 passes)

QB Cameron Hackworth is on the cusp of becoming the most prolific-passing quarterback in Southern Arizona history. He enters Saturday’s championship game with Paradise Honors at 8,681 passing yards in his career while completing 69.4 percent (562 of 808) of his passes. He trails former Catalina Foothills quarterback Rhett Rodriguez by only 13 yards for the Southern Arizona record. Rodriguez, son of former Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez who went on to play with the Wildcats, finished with 8.694 yards from 2013-16. Hackworth holds the Southern Arizona record with 95 career touchdown passes. His season total of 3,755 yards passing is a Southern Arizona record. He has completed 68.8 percent of his passes (234 of 340) with 38 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He is the top dual-threat quarterbacks to ever play in the Tucson area as well. He leads Sabino with 845 yards rushing on 94 carries with 14 touchdowns. He has 2,187 rushing yards in his career on 236 carries with 32 touchdowns. The AIA does not keep track of total offense records. Hackworth would be right at the top with 10,868 combining his passing and rushing in his career. … The running back with the most rushing yards is sophomore Zachari Haley with 575 yards on 103 carries with two touchdowns. Senior RB Mason Cade broke free for a 30-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to cap off last week’s 30-16 win over No. 1 Mohave. Cade has 346 yards on 42 carries with three touchdowns. … Junior WR Shamar Berryhill is an Arizona recruiting target who has 72 receptions for 1,315 yards and 18 touchdowns. … Six receivers have at least 271 yards receiving, including Berryhill’s older brother Savaughn, a senior who has 48 catches for 599 yards. WR Britt Roberson, a junior, has 38 receptions for 573 yards.

1 Rhett Rodriguez, Catalina Foothills 8,694 (2013-16)
2 Cameron Hackworth, Sabino: 8,681 (2020-current)
3 Trenton Bourguet, Marana: 7,612 (2015-18)
4 Andrew Cota, Sunnyside/Salpointe, 7,554 (2010-13)
5 Reggie Robertson, Sahuaro 7,106 (1996-99)
6 Brian Chason, Tucson Christian: 6,408 (1982-85)
7 Elijah Joplin, Marana: 6,074 (2020-2023)
8 Tyler D’Amore, Ironwood Ridge: 5,915 (2008-10)
9 Adriell Alvarado, Cienega: 5,910 (2012-15)
10 Adam Rodriguez, Desert View: 5,774 (1985-89)
11 Bobby Valdez, Sunnyside: 5,731 (1984-86)
12 Jovoni Borbon, Buena: 5,666 (2016-19)
13 Gabriel Smith, Walden Grove: 5,607 (2021-2023)
14 Justice Summerset, Mountain View: 5,264 (2013-15)
15 Alex Lopez, Walden Grove: 5,062 (2017-19)

Paradise Honors has tallied 74.5 tackles for loss and 41 sacks, led by senior LB Bode Joncas, who has 104 tackles, 11 for loss with nine sacks. … Senior DE Jalen Cox (97 tackles) and junior LB Darrian Zeeb (72) each have 12.5 tackles for loss. Cox has eight sacks and Zeeb six. … Junior LB Sirron Cook has 10 tackles for loss among his 57 tackles. … Junior FS Cougar Holt leads the Paradise Honors with five of the team’s 15 interceptions.

When Paradise Honors has the ball:

Run percentage: 24.5 percent (149 rushes)

Pass percentage: 75.5 percent (459 passes)

Paradise Honors senior QB Gage Baker is going after his own high marks in passing. He set a new 3A single-game passing record with 656 yards in last week’s 72-56 win over Valley Christian in the 3A semifinals. Baker completed 44 of 54 pass attempts with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. … For the season, he is at 5,523 yards on 334-of-439 pass attempts with 84 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He is seven touchdowns from tying the national record of 91 touchdown set by Paducah (Ky.) Lone Oak’s Corey Robinson in 2007. Baker (6-foot-1 and 190 pounds) has not yet been recruited by Division I programs, similar to Hackworth, despite his gaudy stats. … Baker’s four top targets are all seniors who have at least 738 yards receiving, topped by Isaiah Thomas (89 catches for 1,623 yards and 26 touchdowns). Josh Morales is next with 81 catches for 1,533 yards and 27 touchdowns, followed by Coleman Burkhart (52 catches for 899 yards and 15 touchdowns) and Garrison Ast (44 receptions for 738 yards and eight touchdowns). … When Paradise Honors decides to run the ball, senior Logan Pruett is the leader with 300 yards on 61 carries with two touchdowns. …

Sabino LB Dashawn Engram leads the Sabercats with 76 tackles and Shamar Berryhill, a linebacker, is next with 73. Mason Cade, another talented linebacker, leads Sabino with three sacks. The Sabercats’ linebacking corps also includes Jack Skaggs (68 tackles), Zachary Binford-Wiggins (49) and Isaiah Robertson (44). … Hackworth, a cornerback, leads the Sabercats with three interceptions. He made a game-saving touchdown as time expired with Mohave at the Sabino 1-yard line when the teams met in the last regular-season game. … Amonte Edwards and Diego Hanrahan each have two picks.

Series record

This will be the first meeting between the programs. Paradise Honors first competed in 2012. The Panthers have played only four Southern Arizona teams in their existence — Tanque Verde (50-0 win in 2015 regular season), Pusch Ridge (63-28 loss on the road last year in the regular season), Thatcher (35-14 in season opener at home this season) and Morenci (42-35 win at home in the first round of the playoffs this year).


Head coach: Ryan McBrayer (56-20, eighth year at Sabino and overall)

Sabercats compete in the 3A South. *Region game. Games at 7 p.m.
9/6at Crismon------
9/13Mica Mountain------
10/4at Pusch Ridge*------
10/11at Thatcher*------
10/18at ALA-West Foothills------
11/1at Mohave------



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

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