After an emotional victory over Division III defending champion Queen Creek last week, Scottsdale Saguaro coach Jason Mohns admitted he had a bit of anxiety heading into Friday night’s (Oct. 11) road game against unbeaten Gilbert Williams Field.
Mohns’ Sabercats calmed his nerves with a big 27-3 lead at the end of the first quarter, but they became frayed again.
Williams Field pulled to within 27-24 and 33-31 in the second half, but a late touchdown gave Saguaro enough breathing room to hold on for a 40-31 victory.
Saguaro and Williams Field are now 6-1.
“It was a huge win for us,’’ Mohns said. “We came out on fire, but give credit to them (Williams Field). They made some good adjustments. Then we responded and made the plays when it counted. We felt that it was going to be a game where whoever had the ball last would win.
“This was one of the best Division III games you are going to see all year.’’
Saguaro got three 1-yard scoring runs from Isaiah Reece in the first half.
But the key for the Sabercats was the all-around play of senior quarterback Luke Rubenzer.
He rushed for 104 yards on 24 carries and completed 18 of 25 passes for 268 yards and two TDs. He was at his best running the ball in the fourth quarter, picking up some key first downs to keep the ball away from the Black Hawks.
“He is a warrior,’’ Mohns said.
Rubenzer found Christian Kirk for a 50-yard scoring strike in the first half, and collaborated with J.T. Nettleton on a 15-yard screen pass for a TD with 7:21 left in the fourth quarter to turn a precarious 33-31 lead into a 40-31 advantage.
Williams Field had a couple of players come up big.
Jacob Anderson rushed for 186 yards and two TDs on 28 carries, and receiver Cole Forsgren came up with some acrobatic catches. Williams Field completed 5 of 19 passes on the night, and he accounted for all five, for 125 yards and a TD.
Williams Field trailed 27-17 at halftime. The Black Hawks cut it to 27-24 on a 6-yard run by Anderson with four minutes left in the third quarter.
Saguaro made it 33-24 on a 6-yard run by Erik Swanson with 11:01 left in the game, and Williams Field cut it to 33-31 on a 29-yard run by Josh Page with 8:55 left.
Saguaro plays at home next week against Phoenix Greenway, while Williams Field travels to face Queen Creek.