TANITH L. BALABAN/Tucson Citizen

Sunnyside quarterback Jaime Cota (10) runs past Ironwood Ridge defenders last night. He finished with 49 yards rushing.

Blue Devils on a streak

6th straight win puts Sunnyside in 1st

Not only did two scores late in the first half give Sunnyside High momentum last night, they also put the Blue Devils in the drivers' seat for the Class 4A Sonoran region title.

Xavier Smith scored on a 4-yard run, and Jaime Cota threw a TD pass to Nathan Vega to give Sunnyside a 17-0 halftime lead at Ironwood Ridge.

The Blue Devils took over sole possession of first with a 38-7 win in the Tucson Citizen Spotlight Game of the Week. Sunnyside (6-2, 5-0) faces Rincon/University next week before its regular-season finale against Santa Rita, which is tied for second place with Ironwood Ridge at 6-2 and 4-1.

"We're just getting back into our form," said Sunnyside's Smith, who ran for 127 yards and two TDs on 19 carries. "(Ironwood) looked pretty good on defense and on offense, but we just came out and overpowered them."

It was Sunnyside's sixth straight win. The Devils, who started the season 0-2, are trying to get back to the Class 4A state title game, which they won in 2001.

"Our line stepped it up," said Cota, who passed for 120 yards and ran for 49.

Ironwood trailed only 3-0 with 59 seconds left in the half. But after Smith's TD, Sunnyside got the ball back when Nighthawks quarterback Sean Brevaire was intercepted by Aaron Garcia after his pass was tipped by Zack Samorano. Cota then found Vega for another TD.

"We went toe to toe with them for most of the first half, and then they popped those two in on us," Ironwood Ridge head coach Gary Minor said. "They had an answer for most everything we did. That's Sunnyside football. They're good."