By most standards year two of Andy Litten’s run at Marana would have to be considered a success. The Tigers, just two years removed from an 0-10 season, were 5-5 and had a legitimate shot at the playoffs.
While conventional wisdom would call the season a success, Litten and the Tigers were disappointed. The team was 5-5, but were essentially two plays away from the playoffs.
The Tigers lost two heartbreaking games in the Phoenix area and that was the difference between staying home and the playoffs.
The Tigers fell 32-29 to Poston Butte in overtime. The home Broncos scored in the final seconds of regulation to force overtime, then after Marana settled for a field goal on their first possession of overtime, the Broncos scored a touchdown to end the game.
Three weeks later the Tigers surrendered 24 fourth quarter points to Maricopa, giving up the game winner in the final seconds.
There were plenty of great moments as well. In the season opener they traded punches with rival Mountain View for two and half quarters before finally falling 51-28. The next week they crushed Rincon 51-0. After the loss to Poston Butte they rattled off wins over Catalina and Cholla by a combined 87-23.
A 51-7 win over Catalina pushed their record to 4-3, but they lost their next two games to CDO and Catalina Foothills.
The Tigers got back to .500 by dismantling Flowing Wells 52-14 in the final game of the season.
The Tigers were led by dual threat quarterback Ben Honea. The senior passed for 1,068 yards and rushed for 1,113 yards and was responsible for 24 touchdowns. Junior Bradley Gonzales rushed for 945 yards, while tight end Travis Howard hauled in 32 passes for 413 yards. Howard was also a key defender at defensive end.