The Mustangs began the 2019 season Friday night when they faced the Santa Cruz Valley Dust Devils in Eloy. The 34-18 loss was not the outcome they had hoped for.

Huddling with his team afterward, Coach Don Watt tried to soften the loss, saying, “That is a pretty darn good team that you lost to tonight, right?”

The Dust Devils have been ranked in most preseason polls as one of the top 2A teams in the state. They've been in the Top Five in most polls and as high as No. 2 in others.

In an interview following last week’s scrimmage with Benson Watt said that the game with Santa Cruz would be won or lost in the trenches.

“They are a lot like we are. The game should be won or lost by offensive line play.”

And as Watt had predicted, it was in the trenches where the Dust Devils prevailed.

Sahuarita’s three offensive threats, Cristian Gonzales, Bryce Williams and Michael Molio’o were held in check for most of the night. Quarterback Orlando Williams seemed to face a host of red and white Santa Cruz jerseys at every snap of the ball, making options difficult to execute.

Gonzales picked up 92 of the team’s 170 yards rushing, 49 of the team's 54 passing yards, and added an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The senior also scored the Mustangs' other two touchdowns as well.

The Mustangs will take this week off in preparation to host Palo Verde Magnet in the home opener on September 6.

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