Canyon del Oro 40, Marana 12: Thursday's work pays off Friday

CDO's day-earlier focus on takeaways yields 6 turnovers
2012-10-20T00:00:00Z Canyon del Oro 40, Marana 12: Thursday's work pays off FridayAlex Williams Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 20, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Canyon del Oro's defense spends practice every Thursday doing almost nothing but stripping ball carriers and catching tipped passes.

CDO head coach Dusty Peace calls them Takeaway Thursdays.

It sure paid off Friday at Marana.

The Dorados forced six turnovers and recovered an onside kick to start the second half, running back Isaac Chacon rushed for 154 yards on 19 carries, and CDO rolled 40-12 over the Tigers.

"We always do that silly little tip drill, and it's nice to see that finally work," said Peace, whose defense intercepted four passes - three of which were first tipped.

Marana (3-6) shot itself in the foot a number of times early, including a personal foul by receiver Dennis Wilson at the CDO 2-yard line. Then the Tigers were forced to punt after quarterback Ben Honea was sacked - putting them well out of field goal range.

Honea's punt was downed at the 10-yard line - but that didn't matter to the Dorados. They drove 90 yards in four plays while being aided by another Marana penalty, and Chacon capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge.

"There were a lot of deflating moments in that game," Marana coach Andy Litten said. "The score is always meaningless to us, but we took a step back in a lot of ways."

CDO (3-6) added another first-half touchdown on Tommy Sawyer's 7-yard touchdown catch from Leo Khawam, but it was the second half when the Dorados opened things up.

After recovering the onside kick, CDO covered 50 yards in six plays - one was a third-and-13 conversion - before Chacon scored the second of his four touchdowns on the day.

Then a Honea pass directed at Wilson was dropped by Marana and intercepted on the Tigers' second play after the score, and the Dorados took a three-score lead two plays later on a Chacon 30-yard run.

"All our hard work finally paid off," Chacon said. "We went into halftime saying 13-0 wasn't good enough, then came out and took care of what we needed to."

Marana had a chance to make it a two-score game late in the third quarter, but Honea, who finished 6 of 13 passing for 50 yards, threw an interception in the end zone. CDO added a touchdown return on Honea's fourth pick of the game to put things out of reach.

The Dorados improved to 11-0 all-time against Marana, which had a chance to equal its win total from the last three years combined.

"We're trying to teach culture out here," Litten said, "and I don't know if there's a better example of that than CDO."

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