The first quarter was a defensive battle, with neither team putting a point on the board. The 2nd quarter was owned by the Firebirds, as they scored three times to build a 17-0 lead at half.
With 11:33 left in the 2nd quarter, Chaparral put the first points of the game on the board. After stopping the Coyotes in the redzone, Connor Brewer hooked up with Jake Roh to move the ball to midfeild. Just a few plays later, it was Brewer to Roh on a 28 yard scoring pass. 7-0.
Chaparral missed out on a great opportunity to add to their lead, missing a FG after recovering a buffed punt in scoring range. But they made up for their special teams miscue a series later, blocking a punt and scoring a TD a few plays later. RB Lucas Petrullo scored his first of three TDs on the night from 6 yards out. 14-0.
The Firebirds added to their lead after kicker Dylan Audsley hit from 30 yards out at the end of the 1st half.
17-0 at halftime.
Centennial HC Richard Taylor must have given a great halftime speech because the 3rd quarter was owned by the Coyotes.
The defense forced a Chap punt and QB Justin Sanchez hit big receiver Troy Hawthorne from 23 yards out to cut into the lead. 17-7.
Another Chaparral punt and Centennial marched down the field in a hurry to score again. Sanchez found Jalen Ortiz on a dump pass and Ortiz did the rest, rumbling 52 yards to make it 17-14 in the middle of the 3rd.
It would be Ortiz that gave Centennial their first lead of the game, recovering a Davonte' Neal fumble and returning it for his second score of the night. 21-17 Centennial.
A high snap on a Centennial punt resulted in Chaparral getting the ball at the 9 yard line. Petrullo made quick work of the Centennial D and scored just two plays later to give the lead back to Chap. 24-21.
But it was Centennial the answered back with quickness, Sanchez hit Tyler Beenau on an 80 yard scoring bomb to once again give the lead back to CeHS. 28-24.
Chaparral's offense went back to work, moving down the field and scoring again to take a 31-28 lead. Brewer hooked up with Roh for a 26 yard gain on 3rd and 14 and Petrullo capped off the drive with his third TD of the night.
Centennial didn't give up, marching down the field and getting in scoring position. But Ortiz, working out of the Wildcat, threw an INT to Davonte' Neal, who made a very nice catch, to basically seal the game.
Chaparral took an intentional safety with 2 seconds left in the game to secure a spot in the state title game against Cienega next week.
This game looked like a blowout in the 1st half. The Firebirds built a 17-0 lead, one that could have been bigger. But credit Centennial, they owned the 3rd quarter, scoring three times to take the lead. That fourth quarter was one of the best parts of a game I have seen this year. Too bad someone has to lose, because those are two very good football teams.
Lucas Petrullo RB from Chaparral. After missing most of his senior year with an injury, he is coming on strong. He had 3 rushing TDs Friday night.
Chaparral v. Centennial