You would think that being 3-0 with a defense that hasn’t given up a point would allow Scottsdale Saguaro to concentrate on revenge when it visits Vail Cienega.
After watching his team get flagged for 21 penalties last week in a 20-0 victory over Phoenix Moon Valley, coach Mike Reardon thinks the No. 3 Sabercats had better worry about themselves — not what Cienega did to them last year. Fifth-ranked Cienega beat the Sabercats 28-7 in the regular season before topping them 38-14 in the first round of the 4A-I playoffs.
“If we go into the game with revenge on our mind, we will be totally out of sync,” Reardon said. “We have to think about what we do. We can’t think about too many things.
“They won’t be thinking about revenge.”
Reardon still is hot over the Sabercats’ performance last week.
“The worst football game I ever tagged my name on,” Reardon said. “It was embarrassing, just a total lack of discipline on our part. It is ridiculous how many stupid mistakes we made.”
Naturally, Reardon is pleased with Saguaro’s defense, which wasn’t responsible for many of the penalties against Moon Valley. He singled out Max Tabach, who has four interceptions, defensive linemen John Sobczuk, Chris Merrill, Derek Bisgard and Corey Adams, and linebacker Alex Ruben. But his praise is guarded.
“The defensive kids are playing excellent football,” Reardon said. “I keep saying this over and over — it’s the same kids playing defense as offense. We play seven kids on both sides of the ball. It’s not like it’s stupid kids on offense and smart kids on defense. We’re mentally thinking less on offense. We have two choices. We can get better or we as coaches have to make changes.”
Reardon is certain the Sabercats have to play better against Cienega (2-1).
“If we play half as poorly as we did, we’ll get beat by 100,” Reardon said. “Cienega plays fundamentally sound.
“They’re offensively efficient. They don’t do anything fancy. They just do it very well. They are satisfied at nipping away at you and nipping away at you.”
Saguaro at Cienega
When: 7 p.m. today
Address: 12775 E. Mary Anne Cleveland Way, Vail
Records: Saguaro 3-0; Cienega 2-1
Last year’s meeting: Cienega 28, Saguaro 7; Cienega 38, Saguaro 14 (4A-I playoffs first round)