Sunnyside's Oscar Grijalva (3) helps
teammate Adrian Carrillo bring down Mountain View's
Benson Brooks. Sunnyside won the matchup of 5A powers
DEAN KNUTH /
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Blue Devils get over sluggish start, beat perennial 5A power
By Sarah Trotto
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 09.18.2009
By halftime, Sunnyside had turned the ball over three times,
committed numerous costly penalties and scored no points.
The poor performance made for a simple halftime speech.
"I just told them we stunk the place up, and we were only
three points down or six points down. I forget what it was,"
Blue Devils coach Richard Sanchez said. "I just told them if
we came out and played a little bit, we could win the game."
Host Sunnyside retook the field and played sure enough,
scoring 23 second-half points to overcome a six-point
halftime deficit to prevail 23-18 over perennial 5A power
Mesa Mountain View on Thursday night.
Blue Devils senior back Kevin Harrigan rushed for 87 of his
game-high 110 yards after halftime. He scored on a 7-yard
run to give Sunnyside (3-0) its first lead, 10-6 with 7:08
left in the third quarter, and on a 10-yard run for a 17-6
lead with 3:40 remaining in the period.
"Our passing game wasn't working," Harrigan said. "We needed
to keep running the ball."
The Blue Devils rushed for 210 yards overall, sending Mesa
Mountain View (1-2) to its second consecutive loss. The
Toros, last season's No. 1 seed in the 5A-1 playoffs, were
coming off a 42-10 loss to Scottsdale Chaparral.
"We made too many mistakes, too many mental mistakes, and
that's what got us beat," Toros coach Tom Joseph said.
Mountain View cut the lead to 17-12 with 10:34 remaining in
the game on quarterback Brad Heap's 20-yard run up the
middle. But the two-point conversion attempt failed, and the
Toros were forced to punt on their next possession with 6:15
The Blue Devils then pulled ahead 23-12 on Perry Shazier's
24-yard touchdown pass to Chris Howard with 3:41 left. The
extra-point attempt missed. Howard finished with nine
catches for 101 yards.
Mountain View scored with 43 seconds remaining on a 7-yard
touchdown pass, but its two-point conversion attempt failed.
"We know we definitely have a shot at state. That's our main
goal," Harrigan said.
Last season, Mountain View reached the semifinals of the
"We were playing Mountain View. We were playing the
tradition," Sanchez said. "We just had to get our kids to
believe they could beat a program like that."
Toros fullback Jacom Brimhall, who rushed for more than
1,600 yards last season, finished with 67 yards on 17
Sanchez said his team played its nickel defense in the first
half before switching to its base defense with four linemen,
which was more effective.
Mountain View led 6-0 at halftime after scoring on
Brimhall's 13-yard run with 6:14 left in the second quarter.
The Toros' two-point conversion attempt on a throw failed.
An apparent 35-yard touchdown pass for Sunnyside with 55
seconds left in the first half was negated by a holding
penalty. Sunnyside turned over the ball three times — all on
interceptions — in the first half.
The Blue Devils finally scored on Hector Solis' 49-yard
field goal a little over a minute into the third quarter.
"I know they had a few guys banged up," Sanchez said. "Our
kids did a good job of getting on them and staying on them."