Sunnyside's Jovan Stevenson, left, fends off Buena Defender Jake Muasau and scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Mamta Popat / arizona daily star

Devils prevail in high-scoring shootout

Sunnyside's Stevenson rushes for 276 yards in matchup with Buena star

By Chris Davis
Special to the Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 10.06.2007

For all the attention paid to Friday's matchup between Southern Arizona's top two running backs, one might have thought Jovan Stevenson and Jamal Womble would have had a tough time living up to the hype.

If anything, the two players could have used even more billing.

As it turned out, it was Stevenson who had the best statistics.

The senior rushed for 276 yards and caught six passes for 102 yards to lead Sunnyside to a 56-30 win over Sierra Vista Buena.

"He did a good job," said Sunnyside coach Richard Sanchez. "But he did what he's expected to do. We don't expect anything less than what he did tonight."

Womble, meanwhile, did just enough to keep the Colts in the contest until midway through the fourth quarter, and was a thorn in Sunnyside's side the entire night with his 182 yards rushing.

Even then, the Division I prospect said it wasn't enough to satisfy him.

"Another week, we've got a team on the ropes with a chance to put them away and we don't do it," Womble said. "There are a lot of things I could've done better tonight, but I'll have to come back next week and make up for it."

Sunnyside's offense ran on full throttle, scoring twice on its first four plays from scrimmage, including a 63-yard run by Stevenson that gave the Blue Devils a 14-7 lead.

He would add another score just before the end of the first quarter, and it looked as though the rout was on.

But the Blue Devil defense did not have an answer for Womble or receiver Jake Muasau.

Numerous missed tackles by Sunnyside enabled the Colts to stay in the game.

"Defensively, we're still not where we should be," Sanchez said. "If we don't get it together real quick, the season's going to end. We didn't wrap up and missed a lot of tackles."

Trailing 28-14 midway through the third, Muasau slipped behind the Sunnyside defense and hauled in a 65-yard touchdown pass to narrow the deficit to seven points.

But the Colts would get no closer.

Stevenson answered by scoring Sunnyside's next two touchdowns on pass plays of 17 and 50 yards to put the game away.

"Tonight was a good experience," Stevenson said of going up against Womble. "It was a new thing, but the better running back came out on top."