Sabino’s Isaiah Smotherman (20) slashes up the middle past Fountain Hills’ Collin Robbins (18) romping for a first down in the second quarter of their state 3A playoff game at Sabino High School, Saturday November 4, 2017, Tucson, Ariz.

Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star

High school football playoffs continued in the Class 3A bracket Saturday with three teams representing Southern Arizona. No. 5 seed Sabino avoided a comeback from No. 12 Fountain Hills to win 49-20.

The Sabercats jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the first half after quarterback Alex Bell connected with Larry Gerald on a last-minute drive just before halftime.

Down 18, Fountain Hills wasn’t going down without a fight.

The Falcons cut the deficit 28-17 in the third quarter, but the Sabercats outscored Fountain Hills 21-3 to finish the game and advance to the quarterfinals.

Up next, the Sabercats will play at No. 4 Queen Creek Benjamin Franklin on Friday at 7 p.m.

In other 3A action, No. 1 Pusch Ridge Christian routed No. 16 Wickenburg 67-0 and will host No. 8 Northwest Christian next week.

No. 14 Empire fell to No. 3 Casteel 56-7 to end its season at 6-5. Pusch Ridge Christian will host Northwest Christian at 7 p.m. Friday.

Sports producer

Award-winning journalist and Tucson native, I've recently graduated from the University of Arizona and currently work as an online sports producer for the Arizona Daily Star.