RENEE BRACAMONTE/Tucson Citizen

Despite tight defensive moves by Santa Rita's Torrian Sandefur (81) and Matt Padgett (84), Sunnyside's Wally Altamirano (6) breaks away for a 58-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Sunnyside ready to rumble in another state tourney


JESSIE VANDERSON
Tucson Citizen 

Four is the magic number for the Sunnyside High School football team.
The Blue Devils, who won their 22nd straight game last night, are four victories away from their second straight Class 4A state title. Sunnyside topped visiting Santa Rita 61-12 in its latest outing.

Sunnyside also won the state championship in 2001.

The Blue Devils (10-0, 7-0) should be seeded No. 1 in the state tourney, which begins next week. Glendale Cactus, which was No. 1 in power points before last night, lost to Peoria Centennial.

Sunnyside went in No. 2 in power points and No. 1 in The Associated Press ranking.

Santa Rita (3-8, 2-5) relied on star running back Jacob Morell, but it wasn't enough.

Morell finished with a game-high 154 rushing yards on 50 carries and ended the season with 2,068 yards. 

"This was Sunnyside, and everybody was saying I could not get 100 yards," Morell said.

Blue Devils quarterback Jaime Cota connected on 10 of 14 throws for 343 yards and six touchdowns.

Wide receiver Wally Altamirano grabbed four passes from Cota for a game-high 136 yards and three touchdowns.

Despite the Blue Devils' dominance, Morell's performance left an impression.

"Any time you run for 2,000 yards, you are doing a lot of things right.

"Our hats are off to him," said Terry Seward, Sunnyside's defensive coach.