Sunnyside High School football team is back on the winning track Sunnyside High School Football Team Is Back on The Winning Track

GARY GAYNOR/Tucson Citizen

Sunnyside quarterback Jaime Cota (left) runs from Millennium's Mical Pariga for a long gain. Cota help lead Sunnyside to a 13-12 win.

Running attack prevails


Sunnyside, improved after 2 losses, wears down Millennium



The Sunnyside High School football team is back on the winning track.

The Blue Devils, who started the season an uncharacteristic 0-2, picked up their first win of the year against visiting Goodyear Millennium 13-12 last night.

Sunnyside entered the game ranked No. 10 in Class 4A. Millennium was No. 6.

The Blue Devils lost by 25 to Salpointe Catholic to open the year, then fell to Scottsdale Chaparral by 27 last week.

Despite the defeats, Sunnyside coach Richard Sanchez has seen his team improve.

"We've been getting better each week," he said.

Using a potent running attack, Sunnyside wore down the Millennium defense with the duo of David Morales and Xavier Smith.

Smith ran for 89 yards on 12 carries and Morales added 66 yards on 16 attempts.

The Blue Devils started slow, as early penalties thwarted drives.

On the third drive of the game though, quarterback Jaime Cota got things going with a 17-yard run, followed by an 18-yard scamper by Ruben Leyva.

The drive was capped by a 29-yard pass by Cota to Nathan Vega with 6:49 in the second quarter to make it 6-0.

The running of Morales and Smith opened up the offense after that, moving the chains and keeping the Millennium offense off the field.

The run set up a 44-yard pass to Mike Quiroz to make it 13-0 with 4:19 left in third quarter.

Millennium scored two touchdowns after that, on a 90-yard interception return and a 9-yard run. But the Tigers missed the extra points each time, leaving the Blue Devils one-point victors.

Although the Blue Devils are back on track, Sanchez said the team has a ways to go to play at the level of previous seasons.

"Our offensive line has to improve and our tackling has to improve," Sanchez said.