OVERTIME: Catalina Foothills, Sabino look to bring home state titles

OVERTIME: Catalina Foothills, Sabino look to bring home state titles

Two Tucson-area schools are playing in state football title games on Saturday and they are facing different challenges.

In Division 4A, you have Catalina Foothills playing state power Saguaro.

The Falcons (11-2) are in a state finale for the first time in school history while the Saguaro Sabercats (13-0) have won eight state crowns in the last 10 years.

In Division 3A you have Sabino, a state power in its own right, squaring off against American Leadership.

Sabino won titles in 1998, 1992 and 1990 and was runner-up in 2009, 2006, 2005, 1999 and 1997. American Leadership is making its first title game appearance.

Both local teams have a good shot at bringing home the trophy.

DIVISION 4A

No. 1 Saguaro (13-0) vs. No. 6 Catalina Foothills (11-2)

Head coach Jeff Scurran and quarterback Rhett Rodriguez have the Falcons on the cusp of school history.

One more win and Catalina Foothills will have a football crown to add the school's impressive trophy case. The Falcons' soccer, tennis and debate teams are well-known and the band is one of the best in the south western United States.

To get that trophy, they'll have to go through a powerhouse. While history and the statistical advantage go to Saguaro, the Falcons have just found a way to win all season. Saguaro, the second-ranked team in Arizona according to MaxPreps.com, is averaging 46.4 points per game and the Sabercats defense is dominate too. They have held opponents to seven points or less eight times this year.

Catalina Foothills, ranked 12th overall in the state, can score in bunches though and have put up 50 or more seven times this season.

The Falcons have been shutout only once this season -- a 35-0 loss to Saguaro in Scottsdale.

Saturday's title game, set for a 10:30 a.m. kickoff, will be played at a neutral site -- University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

DIVISION 3A

No. 3 American Leadership Academy vs. No. 5 Sabino

Sabino and American Leadership have a lot in common and have already tangled once this season.

Now they'll battle with everything on the line in a title game scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Chaparral High in Scottsdale.

The Sabino Sabercats have won 10 straight while the American Leadership Patriots have won 11 straight.

Both teams can put points on the board.

Sabino's lone loss was 10-7 at Mission Hills (San Marcos, Calif.) on Sept. 9. That loss came one week after the Sabercats won a defensive slug fest 16-13 against American Leadership in Tucson.

The Sabercats (12-1), the 25th ranked team in Arizona, are dominant on both sides of the ball. They have scored 40 points or more in nine games and held an opponent under seven points seven times.

American Leadership (12-1), ranked 27th, has scored 38 points or more 10 times this season and have outscored its opponents 525-245.

The big difference is history. Sabino has three state titles -- in 4A in 1998, 1992 and 1990. The Sabercats have also finished runner-up five times since 1997.

This will be American Leadership's first title game appearance.

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