Sunnyside High School's Adam Torralba, center in blue, tackles Tucson High School quarterback Shakir Smith, bottom, in the third quarter.

Dean Knuth / Arizona Daily Star

Sunnyside coach shows his displeasure with team despite victory over Badgers



By Chris Davis
special to the arizona daily star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 10.17.2009

A 21-point victory is acceptable on most nights. But when the winning team's penalty yardage is greater than its total rushing yardage, there is reason for concern.

Sunnyside took a 21-point first quarter lead on Friday, then coasted to a 35-14 win at home over Tucson (2-5, 1-2).

Not many of those standing on the Blue Devils' side of the field walked away pleased with the team's performance. That included Sunnyside coach Richard Sanchez.

"Our kids better learn real quickly that they have to come out and play 48 minutes, or it is going to come back and bite us," Sanchez said.

Sunnyside (7-0, 3-0) was penalized 12 times for 100 yards — while rushing for 93.

The Badgers had 14 penalties of their own for 106 yards. And if not for a pair of punting miscues in the first quarter, it might have been closer.

Leading 7-0 after a long opening kickoff return and a touchdown pass, Sunnyside only had to go 1 yard for its second score.

A high snap sailed over the head of Tucson punter Abisai Urias and into the end zone on the previous play. Urias scooped up the ball and ran it out but did not get far.

One play later, Alfred Leon's 1-yard run made it 14-0.

On the ensuing drive, the Badgers again had kicking problems. Urias dropped the snap and could not get the punt away. Sunnyside took over on the Badgers' 14. Two plays later, Kevin Harrigan scored from six yards out with more than five minutes remaining in the first.

"We started out all right," said Sanchez. "We had that kick return to start (the game) and those two snaps hurt them."

But what looked like the start of a Sunnyside romp turned into a much closer contest.

Tucson's defense held Sunnyside scoreless for the remainder of the first half, then got on the scoreboard in the second. In that period, Eric Hayes sacked Sunnyside quarterback Perry Shazier, who fumbled.

Angel Gomez picked up the ball and raced 18 yards for the score.

But that was as close as the Badgers would get.

Badgers quarterback Shakir Smith rushed for a game-high 87 yards. He said he thought his team had a chance to rally.

"We hung in there but I thought we could have fought harder. Some of our seniors let us down," Smith said.