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Sabino's Chris Lundgren scores the Sabercats' first touchdown in the third quarter as Sunnyside's Hector Figueroa (12) tries to make the stop.

  FRANCISCO MEDINA/Tucson Citizen

Sabino rushes to victory


Lundgren stings Sunnyside with two TD runs in second half
By STEPHEN SHARPTON
Tucson Citizen

Sabino High School coach Jay Campos and his staff played down the importance of beating Sunnyside all week.

"It's just another game," he kept telling everyone.

But when the final seconds ticked away Thursday night, the Sabercats' celebration spoke clearly about how important the contest was.

Sabino (4-0) won The Tucson Citizen Spotlight Game of the Week 14-7 by sticking to its ground game to break a scoreless halftime tie with the Blue Devils (3-1).

Chris Lundgren ran for a 4-yard touchdown in the third quarter and a 6-yard score in the fourth quarter as Sabino took a 14-0 lead and hung on to win.

Lundgren finished with 164 yards on 26 carries, and the Sabercats picked up 212 of the their 287 yards in the second half, including 120 yards rushing.

"In the first half we didn't want to do anything outside of what we were comfortable with," Campos said. "We didn't want to make any decisions that would put us in a bind, so we just waited it out. . . . We just kind of kept it simple, stayed safe and didn't let them pull out a win."

Sunnyside did what it could to get back in the second half, scoring on a 63-yard pass from Jamie Valdez to Anthony Aguilar. But two interceptions derailed two other fourth-quarter drives.

On first down at the Sabino 13, Travis Graham snared an interception in the end zone with 9:37 in the fourth quarter, beating a Sunnyside receiver to the punch.

Mark Dragosolovich pounced on another errant pass intended for Alex Leon with 1:49 left.

"We were playing a man-to-man defense," Dragosolovich said. "It really wasn't even my guy, but I saw it and read it and went for it."

Fatigue was Sunnyside's biggest foe in the second half as the thin bench couldn't provide much relief.

"We knew it was going to be close and we just wanted to get to the fourth quarter," Lundgren said. "We knew most of them go both ways and we were just waiting for that to happen."

Sunnyside has little time to recover as it heads next week to Mesa Mountain View.

"They came and smacked our kids in their faces and our kids didn't respond to it," Sunnyside coach Richard Sanchez said. "These kids got to come back and decide what kind of team they want to become."