Xavier Smith

Sunnyside's 2nd-quarter run deflates Millennium's hopes


Chris Traphagan
Special for The Republic
Sept. 11, 2004 12:00 AM

The two-minute drill is a fine art in football, and Tucson Sunnyside's Xavier Smith turned in his own one-man masterpiece Friday at Goodyear Millennium.

Smith, a senior tailback/linebacker, blew open a tight three-point game late in the second quarter, as he exploded for three touchdowns in less than three minutes. That turned what was a competitive contest into a 32-0 romp for the No. 1 Blue Devils.

Sunnyside's three-minute barrage began with a 6-yard TD run from Smith, putting Sunnyside up 9-0. On Millennium's ensuing possession, Smith intercepted Millennium quarterback Kirt Brais and ran untouched into the end zone for a score to put Sunnyside (3-0) up 16-0.

The final dagger came 48 seconds later with Sunnyside at Millennium's 32-yard line after a partially blocked punt. Sunnyside quarterback Jaime Cota connected with George Garza for 27 yards on the first play, and Smith bulled his way into the end zone on the next play to put the Blue Devils up 23-0 at the half. Smith finished the night with 134 rushing yards and three touchdowns on just 17 carries.

Sunnyside coach Richard Sanchez said Smith's interception was a huge play in more than one way.

"We've been waiting for that," Sanchez said. "We've gotten our hands on a lot of balls this season, but we haven't been picking them. That was definitely good to see that."

Millennium's sideline noticeably drooped after Sunnyside's scoring spree, something Millennium coach Mark Smith said will have to change.

"Bad things are going to happen in a game, and you have to deal with them," Smith said.