After getting shut out for the second time in three games, the Marana Tigers football might have been totally flustered and pessimistic.
That's not the case, despite a 48-0 loss to the Sabino Sabercats last Friday night.
Actually, the Tigers are just happy they'll have continuity. After playing three games in five weeks, the Tigers have been struggling to find consistency.
"You always have to get into a rhythm," Coach Anthony Coronado said. "The good news is we don't have any more byes."
The Tigers (1-2) travel to Pueblo on Friday.
Coronado expects a good effort. "They know we played a really good team in Sabino," said Coronado, who's back at the helm of Marana football this year. "Our kids' attitude is great. They didn't quit and they stayed classy."
Sabino has some significant weapons in Keanu Nelson and running back Stephen Fraser.
Fraser broke loose for 99 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries, a 7.6-yard average. Nelson gained 31 yards rushing, ran for a touchdown, and he returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown to give Sabino a 27-0 lead in the second quarter.
On the night, Sabino's running game gained 300 yards, and the Sabercats passed for 78 more.
The Sabercat offensive line took control early, spearheading an 88-yard scoring drive. Fraser broke loose on a 63-yard run and almost got into the end zone before being brought down at the one-yard line. He scored on the next play for a 7-0 lead. That would be the only score of the first quarter.
Sabino would unleash its offense in the second quarter. Quarterback Nathan Brooks completed a 37-yard pass to David Duron to put the ball on Marana's 11-yard line. A couple of plays later, Fraser went in for the touchdown. The point-after was blocked.
Any effort to establish any Tiger momentum was waylaid when Ben Liwski picked off a pass thrown by quarterback Robert Contreras and took it inside Marana's 20-yard line. Nelson ran it in from 15 yards out, and the rout was on at 20-0.
The Tigers offense was out of rhythm all night long, gaining 84 yards of total offense. Louis Payne gave the ground game some lift with 31 yards on five carries.
"Their linebackers killed us," Coronado said. Defensive back Liwski also hurt the Tigers, intercepting two passes on the night.
Contreras completed four of 11 passes for 28 yards, and he also threw an interception.
"We know what we need to," Contreras said. "Coach said maybe we're not fighting enough in practice.
"We'd seen teams bounce back against Sabino. We saw that Mountain View came back against them (losing 28-21). But we didn't expect Sabino to be so fast."
Rushing: Terry Helsel 19-35, Louis Payne 5-31, King Perez 1-(-2), Robert Contreras 4-(-8), Kord Catt 1-0;
Passing: Robert Contreras 4-11-1, 28 yards, Terry Helsel 0-1-1, 0 yards;
Receiving: Terry Helsel 2-7, Ryan LaFaye 1-23, Solomon Stokes 1-(-2).