Buena sophomore quarterback Taylor Stone is sacked by Sunnyside's Rocky Samorano during second-quarter action at Sunnyside.

 Greg Bryan / Arizona Daily Star

Buena's fill-in QB has tough debut

Sunnyside RB Stevenson tops 300-yard mark
By Peter J. Stevenson
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 10.14.2006

One could say that the player who had the greatest impact in Sunnyside's 55-18 victory over Sierra Vista Buena on Friday never set foot on the field.

Devin Veal, the Colts' starting quarterback, was serving his one-game suspension after being ejected from last week's loss against Mountain View.

This season he has led the Colts with 482 passing yards and also has posted 262 rushing yards.

His suspension forced sophomore Taylor Stone to take over the reins at quarterback.

At first, it seemed as if Buena (4-3, 0-2 5A Southern Region) would not miss Veal's leadership too much. Stone rocketed a ball to wide receiver Manumalo Muasau for an 81-yard scoring strike.

It was Stone's first pass on the varsity team and gave the Colts a 6-0 lead with 10:30 left in the first.

Stone said the pass was just a quarterback read and part of the instinct that had been ingrained in him during last summer's practices.

"He was wide open, so I just let it go," he said.

But the Colts' joy, like their lead, would be short-lived.

Only 25 seconds later, Blue Devils running back Jovan Stevenson burst down the right side 36 yards for the first of his three touchdowns. He finished with 313 yards on 19 carries.

The score was set up after Patrick Medina returned the kickoff 61 yards to the Colts' 36- yard line.

Sunnyside (5-2, 2-0) added to its lead with 2:05 left in the first quarter when a 58-yard scamper by Stevenson brought the ball to Buena's 10-yard line. That led to a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Jamie Valdez that extended the Blue Devils' lead 14-6 heading into the second quarter.

But the Colts stayed close when their 15-year-old quarterback threw a 7-yard bullet to Muasau.

The score was set up after Medina bobbled a pass into the hands of Buena defensive back Kevin Stewart.

But Medina redeemed himself when he returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards to score virtually untouched, giving Sunnyside a 20-12 lead.

Buena's defense answered with a 44-yard touchdown on an interception return by Jared Haymore.

But Sunnyside was determined to crush any hopes Buena had of retaking the lead.

Valdez faked a handoff to Stevenson and instead gave the ball to tailback Alex Leon who ran 58 yards for a touchdown that gave Sunnyside a 27-18 lead at halftime.

After the break Sunnyside got serious. Led by Stevenson's touchdown runs of 54 yards and 36 yards in the third, the Blue Devils extended their cushion to 23 points with a score of 41-18 heading into the fourth quarter.

"He finally ran the ball the way we've expected him to all year," said Sunnyside coach Richard Sanchez.  "He got in his gallop. … It was obvious on the field."

Despite the loss, Veal said he was proud of his replacement's performance.

"When he had time he threw good balls," Veal said. "All of them were pretty much right on the money."

"He ran the offense. He did everything he could."