Saguaro rallies to down Chaparral in rivalry renewal

Pictured left: Saguaro Quarterback Tyler Beverett. (Photo Courtesy of Donna Munday). Pictured right: Chaparral running back Darvon Hubbard. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Not even an early deficit or a pesky cross-town rival could keep Saguaro High School from maintaining its 38-game win streak over in-state opponents.

Chaparral High School jumped out to an early 14-0 lead but Saguaro (4-1) rallied and fended off the Firebirds (3-1) to clinch a 45-37 home win in a renewal of a past rivalry between the two schools.

Junior running back Israel Benjamin and junior quarterback Tyler Beverett each accounted for three touchdowns. Beverett threw three scores on 18-of-24 passing for 358 yards. Benjamin rushed in three touchdowns on 26 carries for 181 yards.

Ohio State verbal commits Darvon Hubbard and Jack Miller were on full display to build the early 14-0 lead. Hubbard rushed in the 53-yard touchdown less than two minutes into the game. Miller than followed with an 83-yard touchdown pass to Deavon Crawford on the next drive.

About a minute and a half before the end of the first quarter, Beverett found receiver Matt Polk in the corner of the endzone for a 17-yard pass to cut the lead.

Hubbard lengthened the lead early in the second with a one-yard run in to the endzone to make it 21-7. Hubbard suffered an injury shortly thereafter and did not return to the game.

Benjamin countered with a 42-yard score on the ground to cut the deficit back to seven points. After a Chaparral field goal, Beverett connected with senior Connor Soelle on an 80-yard touchdown pass to bring the Sabercats within four.

Chaparral running back Jared Williams, in for Hubbard, rushed in the 54-yard run to balloon Chaparral’s lead to 31-20 with less than four minutes in the half.

But Saguaro got in one more score before halftime as tight end Will Shaffer fooled the defense and reeled in the wide-open eight-yard touchdown pass to make it 31-28 at the break after the two-point conversion.

Benjamin gave Saguaro its first lead of the night after punching in a 28-yard score to make it 35-31 two minutes after halftime. But Benjamin wasn’t done yet as he scored on a 26-yard run early in the fourth to grow the Saguaro lead to 42-31.

Chaparral, however, wasn’t done yet. Miller connected with receiver Jack Helsten on a 24-yard pass to bring the Firebirds within five points. Saguaro kicker Parker Lewis sealed the win with a 52-yard with about 13 seconds to play.

Next up for the Sabercats is the undefeated Arcadia High School at home. Chaparral returns home next week to face Mountain Ridge High School.

Scottsdale Preps Scoreboard

Arcadia 32 Shadow Mountain 21 — Arcadia remained undefeated after scoring 20 fourth-quarter points to clinch the road win over Shadow Mountain (1-3). The Titans begin region play next week at Saguaro (4-1),

Notre Dame Prep 34 Desert Mountain 28 — Despite trailing 21-14 at the halftime break, Notre Dame Prep rallied with 13 second-half points to seal the home win. The Saints (5-0) travel to Cactus Shadows (2-3) next week while Desert Mountain (0-5) will host McClintock (3-2).

Horizon 58 McClintock 7 — Horizon (2-3) used its quarterbacks on the ground to get the job done as Isaac Enriquez rushed in four touchdowns and Jack Martinelli scored two in its road win. Horizon travels to North Canyon (2-3) next week.

South Mountain 13 Cactus Shadows 6 — Cactus Shadows took an early 6-0 lead after two field goals but surrendered 13 after that in its road loss to South Mountain (1-3).

Kingman Academy 24 Coronado 13 — The Dons (0-4) tied the game at 7-all early in the second quarter but surrendered 17 points after that in its road loss to Kingman Academy (1-3). Coronado returns home to host Wickenburg (3-1) next week.

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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