Sande Sez- Postcard from Peoria- Sunrise Mountain Defeats Cactus

Greetings from Peoria, where Sunrise Mountain took down Cactus, 48-7 and a missed PAT by the Mustangs saved the Cobras from a running clock. 
 
Feels good to have football back. It felt great to be back on the sidelines, the music playing over the PA system, the masked cheerleaders cheering on their team (only Cactus had their cheerleaders on the field or the track), fans in the stands… football is back. 
 
Now to the game action. This Cactus team is very young. There are only eight seniors, and the Quarterback, Will Galvan, is only a sophomore, starting in his first Varsity game at QB. Galvan did play on Varsity last season as a freshman, but only on defense as a defensive back. Now, he’s under center and playing both sides of the ball for the Cobras. 
 
The first drive, first play of the game, the sophomore QB threw an interception; on the night, he would throw three more to make it a four-interception game night. I am not sure how long Galvan can keep playing both sides of the ball at this high Varsity level, but from tonight I could tell he has a lot of fight in him, so good luck trying to pry him off the field for any part of the game.
 
I was looking for a big night from senior wide receiver Antonio Pratt, but it was senior Justin Gomez who’s name was constantly said over the PA system for catches or carries. I expect the Cobras to work on utilizing Pratt more going forward. He is a strong weapon and can help relieve some of the load off of Galvan’s shoulders, who was left to his own devices using his legs throughout most of the night. There are some things the Cobras need to clean up, but they are young, and Coach Ortiz can lead them to victory now that the jitters and rust have been shaken off. And a special note, they were playing up, Sunrise Mountain is 5A and the Cobras are 4A.
 

 
For Sunrise Mountain, they dominated the game from the moment the match started. The defense was firing on all cylinders, tallying up the aforementioned four interceptions, one for an 85-yard pick-6. Senior QB Travis Ward won the quarterback battle and got the first start of the season. Ward looked confident and comfortable on the gridiron with his new team. He had two rushing touchdowns, and his longest TD pass was 44 yards. The Mustangs did struggle to get their passing game going, even with that nice 44 yard TD. Their rushing game carried most of the heavy lifting the entire game, but it’s hard to pick apart an offense that put up 41 points (one defensive TD). 
 

 
Next week, I will be coming to you from way out yonder in Queen Creek. Stay safe out there.