After injuries, Marana gridders adjust attack, and win - The Explorer: Sports

After injuries, Marana gridders adjust attack, and win

Tigers on a three-game streak

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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:01 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Come this Friday, the omens pasted at the end of stockbroker television ads might well apply to the Marana Tigers’ football season: “Past performance does not guarantee future results.”

Even as his kids prepped for their regional opener against a woeful Pueblo squad last Thursday morning, head coach Willie Dudley suggested the Tigers dash their glow from two straight wins with caution.

“Every game’s an adventure,” Dudley said. “There’s nobody on our schedule that we take easy.”

The next evening, the Tigers won 14-6 at home — and stepped one pace closer to turning their 0-4 start into a playoff-bound dash.

Band-Aids became all the rage for Marana, as an untested offense and high defensive hopes both flamed out at season’s launch.

Starting quarterback Santiago Miranda sat out injured during the first two games, while three receivers from the Tigers’ spread offense eventually went down — including senior Justin Faust, who suffered a broken collarbone against Palo Verde on Sept. 12.

The Tigers were outscored 171-41, as squads with a collective 24-1 record handed them a quartet of morale-stomping losses.

But Dudley and his staff tired of watching their kids sag under defeat’s weight, and instituted a traditional offense of fullbacks and tight ends.

“It’s good to win,” Dudley said. “I think in the effort, we got the right people in the right positions, and a lot of wounds were healed.”

Locker room attitudes have shifted with a steady dose of victory — and a shrug of nascent bruises, said senior back Michael Kivi, who ran 16 times for 113 yards and a touchdown in Friday’s effort.

“We realized we played some tough teams early on,” Kivi said. “We just have to keep working hard to finish well.”

Turnaround may be in the wind, but no guarantees exist.

In the last three weeks, Marana (3-4) outscored its foes 55-26 — but those teams carry a combined 3-16 record and don’t quite resemble the steely Canyon Del Oro and Catalina Foothills squads that lurk around the corner.

Along with Kivi, senior linebacker Kane Punt knows those coming matchups translate into a lot of hard work for the Tigers, if they plan on making the playoffs.

With a 1-0 regional record, they’re on the right path.

“They’re all going to be tough games,” Punt said. “But we’re going to have to make something out of it.”

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

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