SIERRA VISTA — Buena’s football game against Apollo Friday night validated the idea that defense wins games. The Colts returned home after two weeks on the road and celebrated homecoming with a 20-7 win.
“We all executed our jobs. We did our plays. It’s a good win,” senior defensive tackle Damian Brown said after the game. “This is what we expect every game and this is just one of the games everything went well (defensively).”
Head coach Joe Thomas said he’s happy with the win and that his team holds a 4-1 record heading into region play on Friday.
Prior to the game, longtime Buena game announcers and supporters of the program, Steve Kurtz and Kevin Carolan, were honored. The two men “served Buena football, Buena High School, the Sierra Vista public schools, and the Sierra Vista community for over four decades as the radio announcers for Buena football,” the school announced before the game. Both men passed away earlier this year. Members of both men’s families were there to receive plaques in their honor.
Once action was underway, Buena was quick to score first, taking only 56 seconds to find the end zone. Apollo received the opening kickoff and started their drive at their 31-yard line. Buena’s defensive line over powered Apollo, allowing the Colts’ pass rushers to force a fumble which was recovered and returned 15 yards for a touchdown by Jesse Avina. The made point after attempt gave Buena a 7-0 lead.
The Colts offense struggled to find their rhythm as senior quarterback Jovoni Borbon was picked off early in his team’s first drive. Apollo took over at Buena’s 37-yard line after the interception, however, Buena’s defense once again came up with the momentum killer. Borbon collected his first interception of the game from the safety position with 4:14 to play in the opening quarter.
On the ensuing drive, Tory Walters hit the ground running, putting the Colts at the Hawks 290yard line. Roughly three minutes later Walters capped the drive off with a 7-yard touchdown run. Another made point after attempt gave the home team a 14-0 advantage with 1:29 left in the half. Walters finished the game with 95 yards rushing.
Buena had a chance to increase their lead heading into the intermission but their field goal attempt was just wide.
Sloppiness and penalties hurt the Colts in the second half — Buena had 17 penalties called against it Friday night.
“We had a strong first half but we came off a little sloppy in the third quarter. We have to clean that up and we will,” Thomas said. “Our defense played well. They didn’t allow a touchdown, they only scored on a punt return.”
Sophomore middle linebacker William Stemler led the Colts with six solo tackles and six assists.
Buena added to their lead late in the third quarter. The Colts took over at the Hawks’ 43-yard line after a short punt. A 22-yard run by Borbon put Buena inside the red zone with time running out in the quarter.
Borbon capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run 2:11 left in the quarter. The point after attempt was off the post and no good. Borbon led the Colts on the ground with 102 yards on 12 carries.
Buena lead 20-0 at the end of the third quarter. Cole Muller was 2-for-3 on point after attempts.
Apollo broke their scoreless drought late in the fourth quarter on a punt return with 4:14 left in the game. The made point after attempt made the score 20-7.
“We knew we were going to win,” Thomas said after the game. “We have Marana at home next week and we have to take care of business.”