FRANCISCO MEDINA/Tucson Citizen

Sunnyside QB Jaime Cota (10) scrambles as he is forced out of the pocket by Salpointe's defense. The Lancers won 35-10.

Lancers stun Blue Devils


Sunnyside gives up 32-game local win streak


In reality, last night's football game between prep powerhouses Salpointe Catholic and Sunnyside didn't mean much more than bragging rights.

But those are rights that big, strong Salpointe will gladly accept.

The Class 5A Lancers picked apart the Class 4A Blue Devils' defense to earn a 35-10 win in the season opener for both teams.

Lost along with the claim as the top team in the city is host Sunnyside's 32-game win streak against local competition.

"We came mentally prepared, and we thought we could definitely hang with them," said Salpointe senior wide receiver Evan LeBlanc, who caught two touchdown passes.

The Lancers came into the game with a running-based plan of attack but quickly realized it wasn't going to work.

No need to worry.

With a huge offensive line in front of him, Salpointe quarterback Tyler Graunke had plenty of time to throw.

Graunke completed 8 of 12 passes for 220 yards and four touchdowns.

"I've got my receivers, and they are so reliable, I can just throw to them whenever I want," Graunke said.

That was disturbing to Sunnyside coach Richard Sanchez because Graunke wasn't far off the truth. The Blue Devils' usually stalwart defense left one Lancer receiver after another wide open.

"Hey, they're tough," Sanchez said. "They came to play. Our kids were a little shell-shocked. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong today. You can't do that against a quality opponent."

Before Sunnyside knew it, it was down 21-0, courtesy of Graunke. He hit Jack Darlington for a 65-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

In the second, Graunke found LeBlanc on a 3-yard score, and four minutes later he hit Rocco Bene for a 66-yard scoring pass.