San Manuel defeated for the first time

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 The ninth-ranked San Manuel football team suffered its first loss of the season last Friday, on Homecoming, losing to still unbeaten St. David, 58 – 0.

  The battle of unbeaten of teams entering Friday’s game wasn’t the close game that many expected as the third-ranked Tigers dominated early, outscoring the Miners 32 – 0 in the first quarter.

  “We didn’t play (well),” San Manuel head coach Ernie Ivy told the San Manuel Miner. “It was like the kids’ heads weren’t in the game from the start.”

  The Tigers’ defense limited the Miners’ normally potent rushing attack to only 14 yards. Three San Manuel players finished the game with negative yards. Freshman quarterback Nicolas Velasquez threw for 142 yards, completing 9-of-16 passes. Sophomores Mathias Medina and Tony Guisa combined for 134 receiving yards on seven receptions.

  On offense, the Tigers totaled over 500 yards – 309 rushing and 248 passing. The Miners’ defense entered the game having allowed only 32 points in three games. St. David scored nearly double that.

  “They knew what they were doing, but our game plan was there, we just didn’t execute it,” Ivy answered when asked if the final score was more indicative of what St. David did or what his team didn’t do. “We were not blocking or picking up blitzes.”

  The Miners defense was led by Medina with eight tackles and Guisa, who recovered a fumble.

The top eight teams will make the 1A playoffs. Currently ranked No. 9, San Manuel likely needs to beat undefeated and second-ranked Superior this Friday to qualify.

  “Superior has speed. We just need to stop the big plays and it should be a good game,” Ivy said.

Up next: Friday, Nov. 6 at Superior. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Author is Andy Luberda

Miners line up on offense. Photo by Jonah Altamirano
Andy Luberda (1149 Posts)

Andrew Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working 15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for 11 high schools. His stories are published in Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun, in addition to the San Tan Valley Daily PRSS and CopperArea websites. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College before graduating with a BS in Communication from Arizona State University in 2014. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


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