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Sunnyside senior Chris Howard.

Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star

Devils strike quickly to rout Huskies

75-yard pass from Shazier to Howard comes on first play
By Ash Friederich
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 11.14.2009

It took only 53 seconds to show why fifth-seeded Sunnyside hasn't dropped a first-round game in the state playoffs for the past 11 years.

Twelfth-seeded Scottsdale Horizon had no answer for Sunnyside's passing game or receiver Chris Howard, who caught a 75-yard pass from Perry Shazier on the first play from scrimmage.

The Blue Devils (10-1) scored two plays later en route to ousting the Huskies 48-7.

"We just wanted to jump on them quick," said Howard, who finished with 195 yards on seven receptions.

"We thought taking advantage of their secondary would be a good idea. We just made plays, good throws and good reads and accomplished it."

Linebacker Cedric Gonzalez, who was a part of the Sunnyside defense that held Horizon to 32 yards on the ground, said playing hard paid off.

"We never stop and want to just keep going," he said. "We treat every running back the same way. We don't want to give them anything."

The Blue Devils also got into the scoring when they sacked Horizon quarterback Ryan Stanford and lineman Deomus Alva picked up the fumble and ran 39 yards to put Sunnyside up 28-0 just before halftime.

"It was a big game, and we knew we had to get it done," Gonzalez said.

The Blue Devils sacked Stanford six times and held him to 156 passing yards. Stanford averaged 212 yards a game coming into the matchup.

Shazier completed nine of 12 passes accounting for 240 yards and three touchdowns for Sunnyside. He connected with Howard twice and once with Alfred Leon.

Horizon (5-6) broke the shutout bid in the third quarter when Stanford, who completed 15 of 31 passes, connected with Michael Glidden on a slant for a 47-yard TD to cut the lead to 35-7.