Luke Rubenzer barely ate last night during family Thanksgiving dinner. He had too much on his mind, and a pregame routine to stick to. The California quarterback commit had just posted some astronomical numbers in the Arizona State semifinal game on Monday (played three days late because of heavy rains the Friday prior), and was getting ready to face Queen Creek in a clash of the last two state Division III champions.
"[The rain] wasn't really that bad, at all," Rubenzer said. "The weather people always exaggerate that in Arizona. I walked outside on Friday night, did a TV interview outside, and it was a very light drizzle. We were playing on turf anyway, but, you know. It's something you have to deal with when you play football. I've never had to play in a game like that, but I've always kind of looked forward to it. I was disappointed that we didn't get to play in that weather."
Just four days after Rubenzer went 27-of-31 for 558 yards and nine touchdowns, he and Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro (13-1) got out to a quick, 13-0 lead, and didn't look back.
Rubenzer tossed three touchdown passes – giving him 61 for the season, breaking the state record – en route to a 47-25 Division III victory at Arizona Stadium in Tucson.
"It was awesome, it was a great game, with both teams battling," Rubenzer told BearTerritory shortly after the win. "We had a lead at the half and were able to extend it and came out with the W."
The Sabercats' seventh state title (with six since 2006) came on the back of Rubenzer and wide receiver Christian Kirk, as the senior quarterback went 19-for-28 for 246 yards and rushed for 72 yards on 19 carries, while Kirk rushed for 156 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns, and caught five passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
Queen Creek (11-3) and Saguaro had faced off the first week of October this season, with Saguaro breaking the Bulldogs' 19-game winning streak to the tune of a 35-28 win.
"We're so stoked," Rubenzer said. "We only had a few days to prepare for it, but we were ready to go. It was such a great feeling. We're so excited, and it was great to send our crew off with a win like that."
Rubenzer not only took the state single-season TD passing title with his 61 scoring strikes, but extended his own state career record to a staggering 130. In the semifinal on Monday, Rubenzer tied a state record with nine touchdown passes in a single game.
"It was awesome," Rubenzer said of his record-setting senior season. "Everyone on my team has done a great job all season. Our O-line has been playing great the last few weeks, our receivers are catching everything, making great plays, so you really can't ask for anything else. Hats off to all them. It was a great season and a great career."
Rubenzer's next adventure will take him back up to Berkeley for his official visit in January.
"They've scheduled it so a bunch of the commits and a bunch of the recruits that are considering it, we're all headed up at the same time," Rubenzer said. "I'm looking forward to it."
He will be the first Bears quarterback to not enroll early in three recruiting cycles.
"Coach Franklin wants me to come in early in the summer, the beginning of June, so I'll be up there as soon as I can," Rubenzer said. "I'll put in some good work."
As Rubenzer has marched on the state record books, his future coaches – particularly offensive coordinator Tony Franklin -- have kept in regular contact. Rubenzer said that he speaks with the Cal coaches "at least once a week."
"My mom actually works in New York City, and coach [Sonny] Dykes is going out there for something later on, and they're going to try and meet up for lunch or something like that," Rubenzer said. "My dad calls Franklin once in a while, talks to him about what the plan is, how the season's going, so it's been good."
Rubenzer finishes his senior season 227-for-308 for 4,201 yards and 61 touchdowns, with just three interceptions, and now that he's finally done, he can actually enjoy Thanksgiving.
"It was kind of tough; I had family over and I just had to stand there and watch," Rubenzer. "But, hey, everyone had to deal with it. We did what we had to do to win."
Tonight, though? That's when Rubenzer can finally go to town on all the leftovers.
"Oh, yeah, definitely," he laughed. "I haven't eaten anything all day, so I can't wait to get home and feast more on turkey and ham."
Rubenzer Breaks Another Record
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