It took all 48 minutes for Cienega to win its season-opening slugfest with Marana last week.
Week 2 was a much different story for the Bobcats.
Cienega relied on a trio of touchdowns by Terrell Hayward and a stellar defensive effort to beat Surprise Shadow Ridge 51-6 on Friday night.
“Our team really stepped up tonight and played well,” coach Pat Nugent said.
“Our defensive staff took a hit this week, our players took a hit, so they had to put a little bit of pride back in.”
Five minutes into the third quarter, the refs had already implemented a running clock to speed up the game.
Cienega’s Hayward, a true athlete, scored touchdowns on every side of the ball to compliment an effortless performance from quarterback and University of Arizona commit Jamarye Joiner.
Hayward, who also plays baseball and competes in track and field for Cienega, had a touchdown reception, a punt return for a score, and an interception return for a touchdown.
“I use my athleticism to the best I can on the field,” Hayward said.
Only a junior, Hayward is listed as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports and as the 11th-best player in state for the 2019 class.
The biggest development of the night for Cienega may have been its defense, which went from giving up 50 points to Marana to nearly shutting out Shadow Ridge.
Shadow Ridge’s only score came on the final play of the game, on a pass to the end zone that appeared to be muffed, but which the refs called complete.
Nugent said that the biggest defensive improvement came on tackling, where the Bobcats secondary was quick to stuff any potential big plays.
“Our tackling was terrible last week and we weren’t doing assignments, so we’re going back to the basics,” Nugent said.
An interception led to Cienega’s first scoring drive of the game, capped by a quarterback keeper into the end zone by Joiner.
The dual-threat quarterback threw for 146 yards through the air and rushed for another 40 on the ground, scoring three touchdowns in total.
Already leading 17-0 midway through the second half, Hayward picked off an errant pass and returned it 72 yards for a score.
Two minutes later, he was back at it with a 60-yard punt return into the end zone.
“He’s a superstar and I think people know that,” Nugent said. “Our goal is to get him the ball at least 12 times a game, but he’s just a special man and has a tremendous future.”
Cienega expanded the lead to 38-0 when Joiner threw an off-balance touchdown pass to end the first half.
Cienega scored on its first drive of the second half, inducing the rolling clock.