A night of lightning, torrential rain and gale-force winds couldn’t keep the Marana High School Tigers off the scoreboard on Friday night.
The Tigers, behind a night-long defensive tour de force, blanked Laveen, Arizona’s Fairfax High School 26-0, earning their first shutout in a year.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on the Stampede thanks to a 37-yard interception returned for a touchdown by cornerback Coben Bourguet—setting the defense-first tone that lasted through the soggy evening.
The two sides sparred inefficiently for most of the first half before a monsoon rolled in, forcing a 30-minute lightning delay that sent the throng of people in the stands into the school’s gymnasium.
The break was all the Tigers needed to recharge their attack, scoring three unanswered touchdowns in the game’s second half to secure a resounding victory.
Senior quarterback Trenton Bourguet, who had 225 passing yards and two touchdowns in the Tiger’s victory, said the weather delay was the spark the team needed.
“It was already like mini halftime, so we came out, we made our adjustments, and, as you can tell, we went in there 6-0 and we came out with a 26-0 win,” he said. “So, we just did what we needed to work on. If it weren’t for these conditions, it may have not been as sloppy, but as long as we get the job done, I’m okay with the W.”
First-year Marana Coach Louie Ramirez was thrilled to see his defense come up with a litany of stops in his inaugural home game with the Tigers. The football wunderkind praised his defensive coordinator and right-hand man, Vince Amey, for his work through the week in getting the defensive staff in fine form, holding Fairfax to 58 passing and 93 rushing yards in the game.
“I’m very pleased with my guys, Coach Amey and our defensive coaches put together a heck of a game plan,” Ramirez said. “Fairfax is an awesome team, but it feels good coming home and getting the win, that’s for sure.”
Ramirez praised Bourguet for his leadership on the offensive side of the ball, recovering from a few early game jitters to connect on a 33-yard passing touchdown to his brother Coben and a 12-yard touchdown to sophomore back Isaiah Roebuck.
“Everybody looks up to him on the offensive side of the ball,” Ramirez said. “We’ve just got to find ways to put him in the best position to be successful.”
The Tigers’ ability to overcome adversity was the standout aspect of the night for senior lineman Jordan Morgan, who spearheaded a blocking scheme that kept Bourguet upright through the night.
Morgan, who will play football at the University of Arizona next fall, believes the team did what they had to do to get the win and improve their record to 2-0 for the season.
“I think what’s special is that we all came in and did the hard work we needed to,” Morgan said. “All that hard work paid off, so I think that was a pretty fun day for us.”
Bourguet spoke of Amey’s weeklong pep talk revolving around the team’s defense-first mindset after a 42-36 win over Horizon in week one.
“Coach Amey was really hyping it up this week, telling us, ‘We don’t want a shootout, we want a shutout’,” Bourguet said. “All these ridiculous scores make our opponents think our defense isn’t that good. Shoot, our defense is probably one of the best in Marana history.”
The Tigers will put their unblemished record on the line Friday, Aug. 31, when the Catalina Foothills High School Falcons come to town.
The Falcons, led by legendary coach Jeff Scurran, are 1-1 this season, beating Sierra Vista Buena 28-17 in their opener on Aug. 17, before falling 36-12 to Cactus on Aug. 24.
Bourguet knows how tough the Falcons are, and how hard they’ll have to fight on both sides of the ball to pick up their third straight win. He’s thrilled to have the opportunity to play the team at home, knowing a large contingent of Tiger faithful will once again pack the stands for the Southern Arizona showdown.
“This game’s over,” Bourguet said. “Last week is over. So, it’s a new season, and we want to go 1-0 every week from here on. We’re ready to play a good Catalina Foothills team with Coach [Jeff] Scurran, one of the top coaches in Arizona, leading them. But I’m excited, and it’s here at Tiger Stadium. We just hope crowd’s going to be like it was tonight.”