TUCSON — For the first time in four years, Buena High football is 1-0 after their season opener, with the Colts defeating the Falcons of Catalina Foothills in Tucson Friday night, 35-6.
Catalina Foothills had the first chance to put points on the scoreboard, but turned the ball over on downs near midfield. Buena was gifted great field position as they received the ball on the Falcons 45-yard line. Senior quarterback Jovoni Borbon connected with tight end Jesse Avina for a 20-yard touchdown. The Colts converted on the two-point play to take an 8-0 lead with roughly seven minutes left in the opening quarter.
The home team answered back on the ensuing drive with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Williams. Catalina Foothills did not convert on their two-point play, trailing 8-6 with time winding down in the first quarter.
The Falcons had a chance to take the lead after Jourin Hicks picked off a Borbon pass with under a minute to play in the first frame. However, Buena’s defense came up with the stop to allow the Colts to carry their two-point lead into the second quarter.
Catalina Foothills snatched the momentum early in the second quarter after Williams grabbed Borbon’s pass for the Falcons’ second interception in under five minutes of game time. Buena’s defense once again bailed their offense out by forcing another Catalina Foothills punt.
“I’m proud of how our defense played,” said Buena football head coach Joe Thomas. “I think these are the best core of linebackers since I’ve been here.”
Buena’s offense came alive in the final minute of the half, scoring twice to take the momentum for the remainder of the game. Borbon and fellow senior Kemish Riley connected for a 30-yard touchdown and Cody Pitzen knocked the point after through the uprights, giving the Colts a 15-6 advantage.
With 26 seconds left on the clock, Thomas and the offense got creative. Borbon shuffled a lateral pass to Keyon Taylor, who hurled the ball to Riley for a 91-yard touchdown. Buena led 22-6 after the first half.
“We played well on both sides of the ball,” Thomas said. “We didn’t run as well as I thought we should, but we will work on that.”
Catalina Foothills started to generate their offense late in the third quarter as they entered the red zone for the first time since the first quarter.
The Colts defense prevented the Falcons from crossing the goal line on fourth down, six yards from pay dirt. Buena’s offense turned the turnover on downs into points, as Borbon and Taylor teamed up for a 95-year touchdown.
Buena sealed the win in the fourth quarter with a four-yard rushing touchdown by Blake Yeagley with 53 seconds left in the game.
“It’s a nice win for Buena, the community and Sierra Vista,” Thomas said. “We’re excited. We just have take it one game at a time and we will do well this season.”
Buena hosts Sahuaro on Friday at 7 p.m. for their home opener.