After injuries, Marana gridders adjust attack, and win - Tucson Local Media: Sports

After injuries, Marana gridders adjust attack, and win

Tigers on a three-game streak

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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 11:00 pm

Come this Friday, the omens pasted at the end of stockbroker television ads might well apply to the Marana Tigers’ football season: “Past performance does not guarantee future results.”

Even as his kids prepped for their regional opener against a woeful Pueblo squad last Thursday morning, head coach Willie Dudley suggested the Tigers dash their glow from two straight wins with caution.

“Every game’s an adventure,” Dudley said. “There’s nobody on our schedule that we take easy.”

The next evening, the Tigers won 14-6 at home — and stepped one pace closer to turning their 0-4 start into a playoff-bound dash.

Band-Aids became all the rage for Marana, as an untested offense and high defensive hopes both flamed out at season’s launch.

Starting quarterback Santiago Miranda sat out injured during the first two games, while three receivers from the Tigers’ spread offense eventually went down — including senior Justin Faust, who suffered a broken collarbone against Palo Verde on Sept. 12.

The Tigers were outscored 171-41, as squads with a collective 24-1 record handed them a quartet of morale-stomping losses.

But Dudley and his staff tired of watching their kids sag under defeat’s weight, and instituted a traditional offense of fullbacks and tight ends.

“It’s good to win,” Dudley said. “I think in the effort, we got the right people in the right positions, and a lot of wounds were healed.”

Locker room attitudes have shifted with a steady dose of victory — and a shrug of nascent bruises, said senior back Michael Kivi, who ran 16 times for 113 yards and a touchdown in Friday’s effort.

“We realized we played some tough teams early on,” Kivi said. “We just have to keep working hard to finish well.”

Turnaround may be in the wind, but no guarantees exist.

In the last three weeks, Marana (3-4) outscored its foes 55-26 — but those teams carry a combined 3-16 record and don’t quite resemble the steely Canyon Del Oro and Catalina Foothills squads that lurk around the corner.

Along with Kivi, senior linebacker Kane Punt knows those coming matchups translate into a lot of hard work for the Tigers, if they plan on making the playoffs.

With a 1-0 regional record, they’re on the right path.

“They’re all going to be tough games,” Punt said. “But we’re going to have to make something out of it.”

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HS Schedule


Aug. 21

Hamilton @ Ironwood Ridge

Rio Rico @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Desert Edge

Aug. 28

CDO @ Gilbert

Mountain View @ La Joya Community

Pueblo @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Bisbee

Sep. 4

CDO @ Tucson High Magnet School

Westwood @ Ironwood Ridge

Horizon @ Mountain View

Marana @ Pueblo

Benson @ Pusch Ridge

Catalina Foothills @ Cienega

Sep. 11

CDO @ Sahuaro

Salpointe @Ironwood Ridge

Mountain View @ Sunnyside

Arcadia @ Marana

McClintock @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Combs

Sep. 18

Cienega @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge @ Tucson High

Buena @ Mountain View

Marana @ Tempe

Catalina Foothills @ Rincon/University

Pusch Ridge @ Amphi

Sep. 25

Buena @ CDO

Sahuaro @ Ironwood Ridge

Mountain View at Cienega

Marana @ Catalina Foothills

Cholla @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 2

CDO @ Ironwood Ridge

Queen Creek @ Mountain View

Nogales @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Safford

Sahuarita @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 9

Poston Butte @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge @ Queen Creek

Shadow Ridge @ Mountain View

Marana @ Desert View

Nogales @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Flowing Wells

Oct 16

CDO @ Queen Creek

Ironwood Ridge @ Marcos de Niza

Mountain View @ Poston Butte

Rincon/University @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Sabino

Pueblo @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 23

Mountain View @ CDO

Poston Butte @ Ironwood Ridge

Marana @ Safford

Desert View @ Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 30

CDO @ Campo Verde 

Ironwood Ridge @ Mountain View

Sabino @ Marana

Pusch Ridge @ Rio Rico

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