And that's something that Connor Brewer and Chaparral High School haven't had to worry about much in running to two state titles. But in this year's Arizona State semifinals, Chaparral claimed a 31-30 hold-on-to-your-hat victory over Centennial to make a trip to their third straight state title game. Chaparral jumped out to a a 17-0 lead, but wound up trailing 21-17 after three quarters. After some back-and-forth scoring in the fourth, the Firebirds emerged with a one-point victory.
"It was a fun game," Brewer said. "They were really great competition.
"A lot of our kids weren't used to having to play a full game," Brewer said. "So to get that under our belts, it's a plus heading into the state championship. To play four quarters, and four hard ones and experience the ups and downs that go with that was a benefit.
"I hope the next game isn't as close," Brewer joked.
The Firebirds are 13-1 this season, with their only loss coming to a nationally ranked Bishop Gorman (Nev.) school, and will now play Cienega for another state title. Brewer took over the starting quarterback job at Chaparral as a sophomore, and the Firebirds won state titles each of his two years as a starter. All that's left is a three-peat.
"Obviously, we've won two state championships, but we want to go out with a three-peat, for the community and the school," Brewer said. "It would be the first time in our school's history, and I know the team is ready."
Brewer said his focus was locked in for Saturday's game. But his transition from high school star to college freshman shouldn't take long after, as he plans to enroll early. And he has kept tabs on his soon-to-be teammates in Austin.
"I think they've really been running the ball effectively," Brewer said. "With having young quarterbacks, you know that they're going to make some mistakes, but overall, I think they are looking pretty good."
"I'm going in and I'm going to work as hard as I can to get the starting role," Brewer said. "If that's not what happens, I'll play whatever position they want me to play at, or whatever role they need me in.
"I'm excited. I'll come right in behind a couple of guys, but the depth chart isn't too long," Brewer said. "I'll be right there waiting to get some snaps and battle it out. I'm just going to try as hard as I can."