The San Tan Foothills football team is off to its best start in school history.
"We have never been 3-0 before here at San Tan Foothills," coach Rodger Schenks said.
"It means a lot, to grow and grow and be a part of creating history," junior Ricky Wilson said.
The Sabercats (3-0) stayed unbeaten with a 38-12 victory over Miami (0-3) at home Friday night. Schenks who coached Globe to a state championship, now hopes to get San Tan Foothills to a state title. Schenks coached the Sabercats to the semifinals in 2011. Last year with many freshman and sophomores they had some growing pains and finished 5-5, losing in the first round of the playoffs. Now those talented underclassmen are back and it's paying big dividends.
"We are young, we have worked very hard to improve," Wilson said.
The Vandals scored first and San Tan Foothills trailed 12-6 in the opening quarter before it turned it around as the offense got on track and the defense did not allow another score the rest of the game. The Sabercats scored 32 unanswered points to put the game away.
"Coach gave us some adjustments to make and we flew to the ball on defense and the line was great on offense to open things up for me and Ricky (Wilson)," sophomore Saige Waxter said.
The one-two punch of running backs of Wilson (184 yards on 15 rushes) and Waxter, who added 118 yards on 15 carries, led the way. A.J. Sameula added a 49-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. The Vandals' Cedric Johnson scored a pair of first quarter touchdowns on runs of one and 84 yards to give them a 12-6 lead. Johnson, who had 132 yards rushing, was shut down after the first quarter.
"We found out Miami wanted it also, we had to pick it up, the offensive line pushed and we got some big holes to run through," Wilson added.
The Sabercats defense blanked Miami the last 42 minutes with Waxter, Caleb Ortiz, Andy Moll, Lorenzo Verdugo and Garrett Baer all stepping up and making big plays.
San Tan Foothills, down 12-6, was struggling when Moll picked up a fumble and on the next play Juan Lopez hit Dominick Kelly in stride for a 41-yard touchdown pass to knot the game at 12 with 2:13 left in the opening quarter. The Sabercats took the lead to stay at the 8:35 mark of the second quarter when Wilson went up the middle and got in the open field, turning on the after burners for a 69-yard TD. Waxter added the two-point conversion run for a 20-12 lead
The Sabercats then clinched the win with 18 third quarter points. Waxter scored on a 25-yard touchdown run. An intentional grounding penalty in the end zone gave Foothills a safety. And just 21 seconds later Wilson scored on a 38 yard run.
San Tan Foothills 38, Miami 12
First Downs: M 14, STF 10
Rushing: M 40-224, STF 49-389
Passing (comp-att-yards-TD-INT) : M 4-14-90-0-2, STF 2-3-45-1-0
Fumbles-Lost: M 6-2, STF 3-1
Penalties-Yards: M 9-70, STF 11-78
Miami 12 0 0 0 - 12
San Tan Foothills 12 8 18 0 - 38
M: Johnson 1 run (kick failed)
STF: Sameula 49 run (run failed)
M: Johnson 84 run (run failed)
STF: Kelly 41 pass from Lopez (run failed)
STF: Wilson 69 run (Waxter run)
STF: Waxter 25 run (Waxter run)
STF: Safety, Miami intentional grounding in the end zone;
STF: Wilson 38 run (Kelly pass from Lopez)