It was Phoenix Mountain Pointe’s home opener, but Tucson Sunnyside owned the field in the second half of a 16-9, 5A- I nonregion game Friday night.
After a 7-7 standoff at halftime, the Blue Devils controlled the ball and field position in the second half, scoring on a safety when a long snap went over the head of Pride punter Ben DeMarr into the end zone midway through the third quarter.
Sunnyside also got a 19-yard pass from quarterback Jesus Vega to wide receiver Billy Gonzales with two minutes, 27 seconds remaining in the same period.
“Football is a game of field position and they had the field position in the second half,” Mountain Pointe coach Phil Abbadessa said. “We were playing on a 50-yard field.”
The Blue Devils (1-1) were able to maintain their momentum despite being penalized 17 times for 155 yards.
The Pride shot themselves in the foot a couple of times with penalties killing potential comeback drives. Mountain Pointe was whistled nine times for 86 yards.
Vega completed 9 of 24 passes, leaving much of the offensive load to running back Manny Aguilar, who carried the ball 17 times for 120 yards, including a 20-yard run in the final minute of the first quarter.
The Blue Devils disarmed Mountain Pointe’s secret weapon, running back De’Andre Currie, early.
Currie ran for 29 yards and three touchdowns last week against Laveen Cesar Chavez but Sunnyside closed off the middle early on the 5-foot-6, 150-pound running back.
Currie did find some running room around the right side and went 69 yards for a touchdown in the final two minutes of the first half to pull the Pride to a 7-all tie at the intermission.