There was cause for celebration at Marana … but not for the Tiger football team, which lost to Cienega last Friday night, 45-13.
Cienega head coach Nemer Hassey achieved his 100th career win as a high school coach, while star running back Willie Willis ran for 193 yards and two touchdowns.
Playing against the Bobcats, ranked #18 in Arizona, was a tall order for the Tigers (1-6).
After Cienega took a 7-0 lead, Kord Catt returned the kickoff 86 yards. A Cienega penalty against Cienega put the ball at the 3. Tanner Morse gained a yard. Then, going for the end zone, Morse was stripped, with the ball recovered by the Bobcats. That sequence "was tough," said Marana coach Anthony Coronado.
Isaac Jones ran 75 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0. Jones scored another touchdown in the first quarter, and Willis added scampers of 22 and 13 yards to make it 35-0.
The Tigers scored late in the half after taking over on downs at the Cienega 21.
Sophomore Davon Roebuck, playing quarterback after Addin Soto was injured, completed an 11-yard pass to Jaylon Hill. Then he shoveled a pass to Morse, who went nine yards for a touchdown with 26 seconds left. Randy LaFaye's conversion made it 35-7 at the half.
Soto was healthy enough to return in the second half. Coronado opted to give Roebuck more playing time.
"Soto was fine," Coronado said. "We wanted to look at Roebuck. As a sophomore, the game experience was priceless." Roebuck finished with eight of 15 completions for 61 yards and a touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, senior Rees Howard recovered a fumble near midfield for the Tigers.
Marana senior Louis Payne gained five yards down to the Bobcats 45-yard line. A penalty gave the Tigers a first down at the 40. After a Payne gain and a four-yard completion from Roebuck to Catt, a penalty put the ball on Cienega's 29-yard line. A few plays later, Catt made a 29-yard touchdown reception with just over five minutes left.
"Our backup quarterback stepped up," Payne said. "He's fast."
Payne, who plays nose tackle on the defensive side, said his primary role "is to be a leader. To keep everyone on top of their games."
"They (the Tigers) responded in the second half," Coronado said. "I was happy with the kids' performance."
Tiger receiver Catt led both teams with seven catches for 57 yards.
"Our region is a tough region," Coronado said. "It's going to be fun to see how our region falls."
This Friday, the Tigers travel to Desert View.