Sunnyside running back Manny
Aguilar holds off Salpointe's Martin Rodriguez in the
second half of the Blue Devils' victory.
Photos by Mamta
Arizona Daily Star
It's all Blue Devils.
Stevenson too quick, Sunnyside too much in shutout of
By Sarah Trotto
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 09.21.2007
Jovan Stevenson changed directions, evaded one tackler and
didn't stop when another grabbed onto his white jersey and
Stevenson, a senior tailback for Sunnyside, kept going,
completing a 25-yard run.
Salpointe Catholic never got its offense rolling in the
visiting Blue Devils' 17-0 victory Thursday night.
Stevenson, a 5-foot-11-inch ball of energy, finished with
138 yards on 10 carries, and five receptions for 79 yards.
He also dashed 55 yards for a touchdown in the second
"We're playing for the pride of Tucson," Stevenson said. "I
guess we showed who has really put in the hard work and who
has the emotional pride."
The big rivalry game has been played during the final week
of the regular season in each of the last two years. But
this time, the game arrived in Week 5. The Blue Devils are
4-0; Salpointe is 1-3.
"The confidence level is going good. We've got to keep it
moving," Stevenson said. "It's not over. But it's a good
The Lancers played without star junior running back
Christian Ramirez, who has a pulled hamstring, and without
fullback Nick McDaniels, who has a sprained knee. Without
its two top runners, Salpointe turned to Chris Miller, who
rushed for 105 yards on 20 carries.
"Chris Miller was pretty spectacular," said Salpointe coach
"Throwing the ball, we were 8 for 21. That's not going to
get it done. Offensively, we're not a very good football
team. It's tough to accept because we've been pretty good on
offense this decade, but it's come to a screeching halt this
year. We have a lot of work in front of us."
Sunnyside coach Richard Sanchez said he was not aware
Ramirez would not play, and the Blue Devils focused on
stopping Salpointe's running game. The Lancers finished with
74 yards passing and 119 yards rushing.
"The kids did a pretty good job," Sanchez said. "We're still
not tackling as well as we would like. I'm pretty happy with
All of the scoring occurred in the first half. Stevenson's
28-yard reception brought the Blue Devils to the Salpointe
24 with half a minute left before halftime. After a 5-yard
catch by Stevenson, Sunnyside called timeout with 16 seconds
On third-and-five, Jamie Valdez found Marc Villacana over
the top for a 19-yard TD pass with four seconds left. The
extra-point kick gave Sunnyside a 17-0 halftime lead.
The Blue Devils took a 10-0 lead with 2:26 left in the first
half on Stevenson's 55-yard touchdown run. He evaded two
tacklers and changed directions during the score.
"He's gaining more confidence," Sanchez said.
Sunnyside's Hector Solis kicked a 40-yard field goal to end
the Blue Devils' first drive of the game. The Blue Devils
drove to the Salpointe 12-yard line, but a holding penalty
pushed them back to the 22.
Sunnyside was called for 11 penalties.
"We have to cut the penalties out," Sanchez said. "We had
way too many penalties."
The Lancers attempted two field goals in the third quarter
at 51 and 45 yards.
Many local games were played Thursday in observance of Yom