Sabino coach Jay Campos was confident in his new-look offense leading up to Thursday's opening-night game against archrival Sahuaro.
Now everyone else knows why.
With plenty of new faces, the Sabercats steamrolled their east-side counterparts 63-17 before a capacity crowd at Sabino.
Returning senior quarterback Nathan Brooks set the tone with 60 yards rushing on four carries during Sabino's first drive, capped by a touchdown.
His teammates, many of them sophomores and juniors, then followed suit.
Seven Sabercats carried the ball in the first half. By game's end, 10 Sabino players had combined for 405 yards rushing.
"People just don't get to see what we see from these guys at practice," Campos said. "They've worked so hard, and then they come out in a game like this and prove how good they really can be.
"But you never truly know how good you'll be until you see it in a real game. We were good tonight."
The most impressive new face turned out to be senior Mike Pineiro. After missing most of last season with a dislocated left shoulder, Pineiro showed what he could do against Sahuaro's defense.
Pineiro was able to run through the tackles with no trouble and scored three touchdowns over a 12-minute span in the second and third quarters.
The senior finished with 65 yards on 11 carries and looks to be the best candidate for filling the shoes of last year's true tailback Stephen Fraser.
"Nobody at all thought Sabino was going to come out like this, after losing (Keanu Nelson) and (Fraser) after last season," Pineiro said. "Everybody was wondering who would step up. We found out. It was Nathan Brooks, it was our amazing offensive line, it was guys like myself."
After Brooks' touchdown and a Sahuaro field goal, another new Sabino face got into the mix.
It's tough to see 5-foot-6-inch Sunthi Danh as he's running between tacklers, but he sticks out when reaching the end zone.
On the second play of Sabino's second drive, Danh went in motion, took the handoff from Brooks and carried it 73 yards up the middle for a touchdown.
Four minutes later, the 130-pound sophomore fell on a ball in the end zone after a Sahuaro fumble, giving the Sabercats a 20-3 lead.
Pineiro then made it 28-3 with the first of his three touchdowns. The score was 35-10 at halftime after another Pineiro score and a 4-yard touchdown by Sahuaro's Brandon Grimes. The Sabercats' lead jumped to 42-10 midway through the third quarter when Pineiro broke up the middle for a 19-yard score.
"Our offensive line tonight was absolutely incredible," Pineiro said. "There's pretty much nothing more they could have done."
Kevin Ackerley was Sahuaro's main source of offense. He rushed 13 times for 107 yards and threw for a touchdown as well, but Sabino's potent offense overshadowed anything the Cougars were able to get going.
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