CASA GRANDE – Three touchdown passes by Angel Flores and a defense that forced four turnovers carried the Casa Grande Union football team to a 26-14 victory over Phoenix Sunnyslope Friday night at Al Van Hazel Stadium.

The Cougars led 26-0 at halftime in their season opener.

Flores completed 12 of 18 passes for 168 yards. His three TD passes gave him 39 for his CG Union career, which puts him second on the program’s all-time list behind Brock Hall, who threw for 73 from 2013-16. Flores also rushed for 98 yards on 20 carries.

The Class 4A Cougars did not commit a turnover and had a 396-154 advantage in total yards.

There was one big sore spot for CG Union coach Jake Barro, however. The Cougars were hit with 21 penalties that cost them 170 yards.

“Mentally we were not where we needed to be,” Barro said. “We were not sharp at all. If we play like this next week (at Peoria), we won’t win. We need to clean it up.”

CG Union drove 66 yards on 10 plays for a touchdown on its first possession with nary a penalty. Runs of 14 yards by RJ Keeton and 13 by Flores led to Keeton’s 1-yard scoring run with 7:04 left in the first quarter.

The Cougars’ next two touchdowns came after turnovers by the 5A Vikings (0-1). Flores threw a 26-yard TD pass to Deandray Kelley with 8:10 remaining in the second period following an interception by Andon Diaz. The lead grew to 20-0 when Anthony Flores caught an 11-yard touchdown pass with 6:16 left in the second after Luke Luna’s fumble recovery.

Angel Flores and Anthony Flores hooked up for another TD pass, a 32-yarder, with 3:17 remaining in the first half.

“Our first drive was good and we got the turnovers, but it would have been better if we had been sharper,” Barro said.

Gabe Magana’s fumble recovery with 22 seconds left in the second quarter snuffed a scoring opportunity for the Vikings, who had driven to the CG Union 10. Prior to that series, which started at the Sunnyslope 23, the Vikings had accumulated just 5 total yards and one first down.

Kevin White had a second-half interception for the Cougars.

Sunnyslope scored on its first possession of the second half after taking over on downs at the CG Union 25. Sam Woznicki caught a 5-yard TD pass from Tanner Daoust with 7:23 remaining in the third to trim the deficit to 26-7.

The Vikings drove 75 yards in 10 plays for the game’s final touchdown, which came on a 9-yard pass with 19 seconds to play.

Josh Villa went 2 for 3 on extra-point kicks for the Cougars.

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