SAN TAN VALLEY – The Sabercats tasted victory with a 42-12 win over San Manuel in their season opener Friday night. San Tan Foothills (1-0) scored in the opening minutes and did not look back.
It’s always great to win that first game,” De La Torre said. “You always tell the team that you have to win the first game, the first region game, homecoming and the last game. Those are the four important games. This was the team’s first win under new head coach George De La Torre.
Brandon Williams had a busy night for the Sabercats, who caught two touchdown passes and rushed for one. Williams also had one of three interceptions for the Sabercats defense.
Quarterback Zach Herrera had two touchdown passes.
Amahri Bailey scored his first rushing TD to put San Tan Foothills up 7-0. It was the only scoring play for either team in the first quarter.
“Brandon and Amahri … Brandon on offense and defense, Amahri on offense, they did a great job,” De La Torre said. “But the poise came from our sophomore quarterback, Zach Herrera did a great job running the offense.”
The Sabercats came to life in the second quarter after Williams found his way into the end zone with two TD catches. Jimmy Brooks intercepted a throw from Miners quarterback Caleb Quintero, but the team was unable to capitalize on his efforts.
San Tan Foothills started the second half with a bang. Bailey found the end zone after Michael Eriacho recovered the ball on a kick return.
San Manuel (0-1) finally got on the board with a touchdown in the third quarter, but the Sabercats blocked the extra-point attempt. The Miners scored again in the final quarter and attempted a two-point conversion that was unsuccessful.
“We started to substitute people,” De La Torre said. “We’re trying to get everybody some playing time, I want those other kids to get some reps because we have a long season.”
The Sabercats responded with Bailey’s final touchdown of the night. Brooks ended the game with an exclamation point after an interception in the final second led to a quarterback kneel.