Last year’s Saguaro Sabercat offense was not short on playmakers. Quarterback Max Massingale and running back Stone Matthews combined for over 3,000 rushing yards. Up front, three offensive lineman were Pac-12 bound. In total, 12 players notched a receiving touchdown.
Massingale, along with the top two receiving touchdown leaders in Zach Wilson and Giovanni Miranda, and big play threat Logan Pettijohn, return as seniors in 2017. Miranda has seen a bulk of his responsibilities shift to the defense until Week 6 when more defensive playmakers are eligible after transferring in.
Massingale, Wilson and Pettijohn haven’t missed a beat early in 2017.
The three have played together since elementary school and the chemistry is evident. In the Sabercats’ 42-14 win over Higley on Friday night, Wilson and Pettijohn were targeted early and often by Massingale with each of them nabbing a touchdown reception.
“Logan, he’s a sleeper,” Wilson said. “He’s been slept on but this is his year definitely. Last year, we had a group of guys, a lot of receivers…really he was a sleeper and this is his (breakout) year. I’m really proud of the way he’s growing as a receiver. He’s going to ball this year.”
While Wilson and Pettijohn were two big-time contributors last year, they flew under the radar in terms of notoriety and attention.
“No one really talked about them,” Saguaro head coach Jason Mohns said. “We had a great running game, we had Donovon Dalton, we had Jake Christofferson, we had Jared Poplawski. There was a lot of guys. They kind of had to bide their time and wait for their opportunity to be the guys. They did. They never complained about it, I never had parents calling me asking me, ‘Why isn’t my son not playing more?’ It’s their time and they’re taking advantage of it.”
Throw in Massingale’s ability to deliver the ball to these playmakers, as well as his ability to change the game running the ball, and the Sabercats are well-equipped to continue to put up big numbers as they continue their drive for five.
Many were questioning whether Saguaro still had “it” to make a run at their fifth straight state championship after losing back-to-back games against Liberty (Nev.) and East (Utah). Coach Mohns told us on the #FridayNight360AZ Preview Show before those games that the Sabercats try to play an elite non-conference schedule to prepare themselves for Arizona’s 4A schedule.
The Sabercats showed they were still the standard for 4A on Friday night, beating Higley, who are considered to be one of 4A’s elite, 42-14. Saguaro continues their season on Friday against St. Mary’s.