Lightning halts Marana grid clash
J.D. Fitzgerald/Special to The Explorer, Marana quarterback Robert Contreras hands of to Louis Payne early in the Marana-Mountain View football game on Friday night. There was no "later" to the Marana contest, with the threat of lightning forcing cancellation during the second period. Mountain View had a 6-0 lead at the time. No make-up or resumption had been scheduled as of Tuesday morning.

Weather to play some football, or weather not?

Referees and school officials canceled the first meeting between the Marana and Mountain View football teams in seven years last Friday night because lightning loomed in the southern sky.

Much to the chagrin of a loud, painted, near-capacity crowd, the public address announcer sent fans home after a state-mandated weather delay of 30 minutes. Officials said the threat was too great to continue.

The Mountain Lions and Tigers had played just over a quarter before being sent to the locker rooms. During that 20 minutes, much of it defined by physical play on defense, the crowd's chants echoed over the field, and the visitors' stands ran out of seats, forcing a large contingent of Mountain View students to sit in the home team bleachers.

Those students had something to cheer about when, with 6:46 left in the half, senior Mountain Lion quarterback Evan Roberts heaved a long touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Mark Vera for the only points of the night. The extra point failed, and the teams were removed from the field on the next play with the score at 6-0.

The schools are working on a possible resumption of the game at some point.

"We'd have to continue (the game), we can't start it over," said Marana athletic director Joe Hajek. "That's something we're discussing administratively between the schools right now."

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