With three games left in the regular season, Gilbert coach Dan Dunn finds his team in an unexpected position.
With their 34-7 victory over visiting Corona del Sol, the Tigers find themselves at 3-4 overall and 2-1 in 5A Division I Central Region play.
“We're right where we thought we would be,” Dunn said. "We will be in good shape if we can keep our players healthy."
With games against region rivals Mesquite, Mountain View and Highland remaining, Gilbert's destiny is in its own hands.
The Tigers dominated Corona from the get-go. On its second drive of the game, Gilbert marched 71 yards in eight plays. Quarterback Young Tanner capped the drive with a 9-yard bootleg run.
Gilbert had two more long, sustained drives in the half. Both were capped by touchdown runs by Davis Martinez. The first was 63 yards on nine plays. The second was 57 yards on eight plays.
In the first half Gilbert held the Aztecs to minus-3 yards rushing.
“We're doing well on defense,” Dunn said.
The Tigers recorded six sack in the game. They had 13 plays where they limited Corona to either zero or negative yardage.
With the loss, Corona (1-6 and 0-3) saw its playoffs fizzle out, but they did manage the first scoring drive after 11 quarters of football. The Aztecs marched 83 yards in four plays.
Quarterback Eva Kinney connected with Josh Ethier on a 40-yard touchdown pass.
In the drive, Dominic Mercurio had two rushes for 40 yards. Those two runs accounted for 62 percent of Corona's net rushing yardage.
“We finished on a positive note,” said Corona coach Zane Zamenski.