Sunnyside's Alex Leon (5)
knocks the ball from Basha's Colby Denton.
Sunnyside wins a 'dogfight'
75-yard drive ends in touchdown pass with 57 seconds left
By JESSIE VANDERSON
Sunnyside High School got just what it needed: a tough,
physical football game.
After dancing past their first two opponents this season, the
Blue Devils had to slug it out for four quarters with a stout
Chandler Basha team before posting a hard-fought 8-3 win
Friday night at Sunnyside.
"That game was a dogfight," Sunnyside coach Richard Sanchez
said. "We told the team before the game the next three weeks
are going to be dogfights, and they start tonight."
Trailing 3-2 midway through the fourth quarter, Sunnyside's
vaunted defense stuffed a fake field goal attempt by the Bears
at the Sunnyside 20-yard line.
Sunnyside took over the ball at its 25 and proceeded to drive
75 yards to score on a 13-yard pass from quarterback Sammy
Olivas to wide receiver Alex Leon with 57 seconds left in the
"I told the quarterback to throw it to me and I would get it,"
Leon said. "This was for the game."
Sunnyside back Jovan Stevenson rushed for 118 yards on 27
attempts. Stevenson, a star cornerback on defense, helped the
Blue Devils limit Basha to 179 yards in total offense.
"Our defense stepped up. We have a lot of pride and heart,"
The win improved the Blue Devils to 3-0 and set up a showdown
Thursday night at Sabino between two of the city's best
The Sabercats are 3-0 after defeating host Palo Verde 35-7
Friday. Host Sunnyside ripped Sabino 51-20 last year.
Against Basha, Sunnyside survived two interceptions, three
fumbles and numerous penalties. The Blue Devils took a 2-0
lead in the third quarter after Bears quarterback Payton
Lacivita was called for intentionally grounding while passing
under intense pressure from Basha's end zone.
Basha went up 3-2 at the 8:33 mark of the fourth quarter when
junior kicker Logan Myers made a 40-yard field goal.