Marana ends season on high note - The Explorer: Sports

Marana ends season on high note

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Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 3:30 am

The Marana Tigers knew they were not playoff bound when closing out their season against Flowing Wells (1-9) on Friday night, but that didn’t stop them from competing like they were after a state championship.

It was obvious the Tigers, who next year will be without such key seniors as Ben Honea, Colby Cecil, and Ross Jonathon, wanted to go out with a bang, and they accomplished that with a dominant 52-14 win over the Caballeros. 

The win was a special for Marana not only because it gave the seniors a proper goodbye, but also because it landed the Tigers their best record since 2007 at 5-5.

“I’m really proud of our kids. We’ve been battling culture from years past, and our kids know that,” said second-year head coach Andy Litten. “Tonight, they understood this could be the best team since 2007. They understand the importance of taking steps. They deserve to be fired up.”

The Tigers wasted no time making their objective clear in their season finale.

On the opening kickoff, Reece Lafaye returned the ball 78 yards to the end zone to put the Tigers up 6-0 13 seconds in. 

Then they took possession again a moment later with an onsides kick recovery.

“We came ready to play from the get-go,” said Litten. “We have been notorious this season for slow starts, and so coming out and making plays like that is awesome.”

The Marana defense forced a turnover on downs late in the first quarter, leading to a scoring drive capped off on an eight-yard carry by Ross Jonathon.

In the next play, Marana scooped up another onside kick and drove to the Caballeros’ 28-yard line, from where Honea rushed to the end zone to make it 19-0.

Running back Bradley Gonzales made it 26-0 a drive later on a 19-yard touchdown carry.

The Caballeros got on the board with 2:10 left in the half after a long pass from quarterback Rafael Sandoval to Satchel Burton allowed Sandavol a two-yard score on a keeper.

The half winding down, Honea fired back, connecting with receiver Travis Howard to make it 33-7.

In the second half, Honea, who in addition to his position at quarterback is also the team’s kicker, found himself trying out another role at tailback.

From there, he caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Skylor Lee.

Honea finished the game with 188 yards rushing on 13 carries, and threw 9-11 for 122 yards.

Running back Colby Cecil made it 46-7 with less than 10 minutes remaining on a one-yard carry before Flowing Wells found the end zone again.

The Tigers’ Nathan Sakuta closed things out for Marana with an 89-yard touchdown carry to seal the game at 52-14.

“It was good to go out this way, with a big win where we can all celebrate together as brothers,” said Honea.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

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

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

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

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

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

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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