defense stop

Oscar Martinez (2), Hector Palafox (44), RJ Ahumada (55) and Darian Lamb stop A Tanque Verde ball carrier. Defensive lineman Lamb also scored a touchdown in the first quarter.

Friday night the Sahuarita Mustangs were able to send their seniors off with a resounding 47-6, final home game win over the Tanque Verde Hawks. They did it with old-fashioned ground and pound football, gaining all of the 209 yards needed to pick up win number six on the ground.

The senior night stands were packed on the Sahuarita side of the field as football, band, cheer team and student trainer parents came to celebrate their children’s final football appearance on Burton Tingle Field.

Saturday morning, the Mustangs waited to see if their season would stretch into the 2018 playoff season. The top 16 teams advanced to the playoffs; Sahuarita finished at 17, one place out of the playoff brackets. Although they are out of the postseason, the Mustangs finished this year 6-4 and 2-3 in region play. This is their best win/loss record going back to the 2014, 12-1 season.

The game

The Mustangs scored on their first possession on a 42-yard dash by Cristian Gonzales, after the failed PAT 6-0. Gonzales would stretch the lead to 12-0 with a 74-yard run on the next possession, followed by another failed PAT.

When the Hawks’ second drive stalled, they punted and Gonzales took the punt 22 yards to the Tanque Verde 20-yard line. Three runs by senior quarterback Colin Fanning took the ball to the one-yard line. For the second time this season head coach Don Watt elected to send defensive lineman Darian Lamb to the Mustang backfield. And for the second time this year, the 235-pound Lamb punched the ball over the goal line. A successful PAT made it 18-0.

The second quarter opened with a 12-yard punt return by Osten Sherry, followed by a 31-yard run by Noah Vu set up an eight-yard touchdown run by Fanning, who also added the PAT, 26-0.

Noah Vu

Sahuarita junior Noah Vu runs the ball up the field during Friday’s 47-6 win over Tanque Verde.

The Hawks were forced to punt again and Gonzales returned it 40 yards to the end zone, which came back due to a SHS penalty. A 28- yard run by Fanning and three runs by Vu set up another Fanning touchdown from four yards out. A Fanning PAT later, score 33-0.

Again the Hawks could not move the ball and this time the punt went to junior Bryce Williams who carried the punt back 40 yards for the touchdown. With a successful PAT, the 40-0 score would stand until halftime.

Following the halftime ceremonies to honor Sahuarita’s seniors, Tanque Verde would mount what would be their only scoring drive of the game. The Hawks put together a 15-play drive that took the majority of the third quarter. After a failed PAT, 40-6.

On the ensuing kick-off, the Hawks made the mistake of kicking the ball to Gonzales again. This time he carried the ball 82 yards for the Mustangs final score of the night, 47-6.

Saturday the Mustangs waited to see if their season would last into the 2018 playoff season. The top 16 teams advance to the playoffs; Sahuarita finished at 17, one place out of the playoff brackets. Although they are out of the postseason, the Mustangs finished this year 6-4 and 2-3 in region play. This is their best win/loss record going back to the 2014, 12-1 season.

See the Wednesday Sahuarita Sun for complete game story, stats and more photos.

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