Jovoni Borbon-p1.jpg

Jovoni Borbon completed 12 of 18 passes for a season-high 253 yards last week.

Sierra Vista Buena quarterback Jovoni Borbon has been one of the most underrated players in Southern Arizona over the last four seasons.

Borbon has thrown for 5,367 yards and 44 touchdowns in that time as the Colts’ quarterback. He’s also a starting safety.

Borbon was sharp on both sides in last week’s 27-0 win over Ironwood Ridge, completing 12 of 18 passes for a season-high 253 yards and a touchdown while also recording an interception.

Because of his efforts on both sides of the ball, Borbon is the Star’s high school player of the week for the second time this season.

Borbon, who turns 18 on Thursday, joined the Star’s Justin Spears on ESPN Tucson earlier this week. Here’s what he had to say as Buena (7-2) prepares for its regular-season finale against Sunnyside.

What did you like about what you and the Colts were able to accomplish against Ironwood Ridge?

A: “It was a good game. I enjoyed playing defense. I’ve been playing quarterback my whole life, but getting some time in at defense was a lot of fun. It was a good win, because the defense was strong and the offense moved the ball.”

Last week, we predicted Ironwood Ridge to beat Buena, but the Colts pitched a shutout. …

A: “We see the predictions before every game and it was the fuel to our fire. It’s fun, but our offense was definitely flowing that night and our defensive line is the best in the region. Those guys are working every single day and we knew with Ironwood Ridge’s running back coming with 1,200 rushing yards . … It was a big night for our defense and the defense really stepped up.”

How was Buena able to bounce back from the one-touchdown loss to Cienega three weeks ago?

A: “Yeah, close game, but our preparation for Ironwood Ridge was a little more. I mean, we watched film all week and we were ready for the game. And guys were just excited and were hungry to win. So it was a good one.”

What have you learned from the last few weeks about what this team can do in playoffs?

A: “It’s been fun, but at the same time it’s the preparation. We’re working every day and we’re here (at) 6 o’clock in the morning just trying to get better. This week’s been fun and the preparation is better than ever.”

Which areas have you grown the most?

A: “I would say more of the whole leadership aspect, on the field and off the field. A lot of the guys on our team now are young and growing so me being there and keeping my composure and being calm on the field helps our guys stay calm too. So I mean, it helps the team when I’m calm.”

Didn’t you just receive a full-ride scholarship to play football in college?

A: “Well, you know, I got offered by Whittier about a month ago and then Ripon offered me last week, which is a Division III school in Wisconsin.”

How rewarding is it to finally have a scholarship?

A: “I mean, it’s just a blessing. You know, having just grown up here and started from an 0-10 team and just working every day in my senior year, seeing the progress that comes with the work and what the guys put in every single day. It’s just fun, and it’s cool seeing it all come together.”

Is everything coming together at the right time just before playoffs?

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A: “It’s coming together at the right time. Yes, I mean, it’s always been together, but seeing the guys hungry and the guys ready to win and all the guys focused — that means from our sophomore middle linebackers to me. The focus on the field is just unbelievable in practice and we’re having great practices every day. We got film at 3 o’clock and we practice from 4 to 6. It’s great for the young kids and to see them focused and seeing them ready to win. And it’s just a cool feeling for me turning 18 on Halloween, being older than most of these guys. It’s just cool seeing that.”

So your birthday is on Halloween? How cool was that growing up?

A: “It’s kind of cool. I’m not a candy type of guy, but it’s cool turning 18 years old.”

You were born on Halloween, but don’t like candy?

A: “I’m a Lifesavers type guy, but my mom paid $5,000 to give me braces.”

Favorite Halloween costume?

A: “You know, I’m not really sure. But I’m wearing a Superman shirt to school on Thursday.”

Is that because of Halloween, or do you feel like you have to be Superman this weekend if you want to win?

A: “It’s more of a Halloween thing, but It’s my birthday. And I like Superman. I like being the type of guy so it should be fun.”

Sports producer

Justin writes stories and produces digital content about UA football and basketball and high school football. A Tucson native, Justin graduated from the UA in 2017 and is the host of the Wildcast Podcast and a radio host on ESPN Tucson.