Cox 7 Thursday game of the week pitted two defending state champs, Saguaro and Thunderbird and it looked like Thunderbird was in for the challenge of taking down the Sabercats, at least early on.
The Chiefs D forced a punt and then the offense went 98 yards for the first score of the game. As expected, T-Bird used their ground attack of junior Kani Benoit and Connor Hustead to take the early lead. Hustead had several runs resulting in first downs and the Chiefs benefited from three penalties (a common theme of the night as it would turn out) to keep the chains moving. Hustead scored from 6 yards out. 7-0 T-Bird.
It took Saguaro two plays to match. D.J. Foster had two carries, the latter a 38 yard run to paydirt. This was his first of six TDs on the night. 7-7.
A TBird punt and another Foster score on the next drive and Saguaro had their first lead, one they would not give back.
Saguaro DB Ryan Pierce intercepted Chief QB Vinnie Marin and again it was Foster that would score a few plays later.
Same scenario on the next two drives, a Thunderbird punt and a lot more Foster and Saguaro built their lead to 28-7. On the drive, RB Cameron Larson had some tough runs and sophomore QB Luke Rebenzer hit Elijah McDade for a big gain.
Give Thunderbird credit, they didn't quit. Hustead returned the kick to the 43 and a few plays later Marin hit Scott Beaudoin on stride to narrow the lead to 28-13.
Foster added his fifth TD of the half with 18 seconds left in the game to build the lead to 35-13. Foster rushed for over 250 yards in the half and was literally unstoppable.
Thunderbird scored first in the second half on a 99 yard Benoit kickoff return to open the half but it was the only points they would muster as Saguaro would score four more times to give us a final score of 70-21.
Foster scored once more before heading to the sideline for the night, Larson punched one in, Rubenzer found Dakota Reistad for a 39 yard score, Reistad threw a TD pass himself to Ryan Merrill and RB Ronnie Horne scored in the 4th quarter to tally the 70 points scored for the Sabercats.
No doubt Saguaro was the superior team but Thunderbird has two of the best backs in D3. Saguaro looks poised for a D3 title run. They have a solid OL, good looking sophomore QB and the best player in D3. They need to cut down on the penalties, they had at least 20...yes I said 20.
Easy pick... D.J. Foster and his near 300 yards and 6 TDs in about 3 quarters of play.
Saguaro v. Thunderbird
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