Saguaro Edges Out Sunrise Mountain in 4A Clash

Sunrise Mountain at Saguaro
Final: Saguaro 24 Sunrise Mountain 21


If you got to the game early and looked at the players on both squads, you wouldn’t think Sunrise had a chance but from the opening kickoff, you could tell this would be a good one, the Mustangs came to play.

Saguaro got the ball first but went three-and-out, Sunrise put together a decent drive but turned the ball over, the first of four on the night.

Déjà vu

Second possession for both teams, Saguaro punts and Sunrise turns the ball over.

But this time Saguaro made them pay. Max Massingale hooked up with Zach Wilson for a 30 yard score and Saguaro took an early 7-0 lead.

Sunrise put together another solid drive, moving the chains on three Keegan Freid draw runs. But again, the Mustangs weren’t able to get on the scoreboard, missing a 36 yard field goal.

Saguaro right back to work. RB Josiah Bradley rumbled for a 20 yard gain and then Massingale found Wilson again, this time for a 58 yard score. 14-0 Sabercats.

Sunrise wouldn’t go away, the Mustangs responded quickly as Freid found Angel Ruiz on a 79 yard score. The PAT was blocked. 14-6 Saguaro early in the 2nd quarter.

Sunrise knotted the game a few minutes later.

LB Craig Dennis sacked Massingale on 4th down to give the Mustangs the ball back. Fried hooked up with Ruiz again for a big gain. A personal foul moved the ball to the 19 yard line and a few plays later, Freid scored on another draw. Fried found Ruiz on the two-point try to tie the game.

Sunrise had some momentum, the defense recovered a fumble but the Mustangs couldn’t capitalize, missing another field goal. The score at the half was 14-14.

In the 3rd quarter, Saguaro LB Giovanni Miranda intercepted Freid and the Sabercats turned it into points.

Massingale rumbled 42 yards before Bradley scored from 6 yards out.

Saguaro was up 21-14 after three quarters.

After exchanging punts, Sunrise was able to tie score with 2 minutes left in the game. Facing 4th and 1, Fried ran for a first and then hit James Hansen for a 49 yard gain that got the Mustangs in scoring range. Jay Anderson punched it in and Coach Decker decided to go for the win. The two-point try was good but called back for holding, Sunrise tied the score on the PAT.

With just under two minutes to go, Saguaro drove 80 yards to win the game. The Sabercats relied on RB Josiah Bradley to move the chains and he had several big gains to help get the ball to the 6 yard line. With 8 seconds left in the game, Joseph Zepp made the game winning field goal.

Final: Saguaro 24 Sunrise 21


Saguaro proved they are still the team to beat in 4A with victories over Sunrise and Higley. Sunrise showed tonight that they are legit contenders for the 4A title, they played Saguaro tough and had chances to win. Four turnovers and two missed field goals really hurt.

I talked to both coaches after the game and neither were happy with the respective team’s performance but this was an excellent game that I enjoyed being at.

Game Ball

Saguaro WR Zach Wilson had TD grabs of 30 and 58 yards and came up with a huge catch on what looked like a sure Sunrise interception on the game winning drive.