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Marana had Friday night’s matchup against Gilbert Williams Field circled on its calendar ever since the schedule was released, because the Tigers wanted to prove that they can go toe-to-toe with any team in the state.

Williams Field’s size and depth wore down Marana in the second half, however, and the Blackhawks powered their way to a 33-14 win over the Tigers. The loss was the first of the season for Marana, which fell to 1-4.

“Williams Field is a phenomenal football club and this was a playoff game,” Marana coach Louie Ramirez said. “We just got beat up front. Their defensive line got after our guys. They were running circles around them and we gotta fix some things.”

Marana's offensive line boasts Jordan Morgan, who received a scholarship offer from USC earlier Friday. Despite that, Williams Field’s defensive line forced Tigers quarterback Trenton Bourguet to make quick throws and check down throughout the game. Marana’s offense struggled to find a rhythm and went three-and-out on the first possession, and Williams Field’s Noa Pola-Gates, an Arizona Wildcats target for 2019, hauled in a 58-yard touchdown pass to take an early lead.

Bourguet was intercepted on his next drive, but the Tigers defense forced a fumble and Williams Field stopped Marana from moving the ball. The Blackhawks made it 12-0 when Kendrix Lurry scored the first of his three touchdowns.

“I can’t turn over the ball like that in the second drive of the game. That’s a huge momentum-changer right there,” Bourguet said. “I don’t know why, but I think we have some karma or something on us this year. We just come out super slow and then pick it up in the second quarter.”

Marana's offesne caught fire in the second quarter, and Bourguet found T.J. Cephers for a six-yard touchdown and threw another score to Demetrio Grijalva. The Tigers went into the halftime break up 14-12.

However, the second quarter was the only offensive production the Tigers had on the night. Williams Field scored 21 unanswered points in the second half.

Marana lost the battle, but Ramirez was optimistic about his team moving forward and told his team afterwards that this could potentially be a future playoff opponent.

“Our guys shouldn’t hang their hats on this one,” Ramirez said. “They can hang with anybody in 5A.”

The Tigers have a bye week, and then return to face Sierra Vista Buena on Sept. 28.

“I’m excited to go into this bye week 4-1. Nobody would’ve thought we would’ve came out this hot with a new coach and a young team. But you know, we’re going to take it from here on out and it’s win or go home pretty much now to prove that we belong in the top 16 in state, get in the playoffs and make the long run that I know we can have,” Bourguet said.

Watch postgame videos here:

Contact sports content producer Justin Spears at 573-4312 or jspears@tucson.com. On Twitter @justinesports

Sports producer

Justin Spears is an award-winning sports journalist and Tucson native. He can be reached at jspears@tucson.com. On Twitter @justinesports.