Desert Vista jumped out to an early 21-0 lead over heavily favored Hamilton and never looked back as the Thunder claimed the first ever D1 state title in the state of Arizona.
DV got the ball first and drove 51 yards to paydirt. Ryan Wagner set up the great field position with a good return. QB Hunter Rodriguez then found Matt Geranen for a 26 yard gain that put the ball at the 7 yard line. Jarek Hilgers scored from a yard out on 4th and 1 to give DV the early 7-0 lead.
Matt Young made it 14-0 when he picked off Blake Kemp and raced to the house on Hamilton's first possesion.
A Hamilton punt and a long DV drive capped off by a Michael Arredondo score and it was the Thunder that was up 21-0.
Hamilton managed to cut the lead on a Kemp to Just'n Thymes TD pass before the half ended. 21-7.
But DV proved the first half was no fluke. The D stopped Hamilton on 4th and 1 at midfield on the opening drive and extended their lead to 28-7 on a Rodriguez to Geranen TD pass in the 3rd quarter.
A 40 yard FG by Scotty Goldfein to start the 4th, pushed the lead to 31-7 and all but sealed the game.
The two teams traded two 4th quarter touchdowns each to give a shocked crowd a 45-19 final in favor of Desert Vista.
NO ONE gave Desert Vista a chance in this one. Hamilton beat them up in the regular season and most thought it would happen again. The old saying is, "It is tough to beat a team twice." And that held true tonight.
What was probably the most shocking was the way DV won. It wasn't big plays and Hamilton errors, the Thunder D played tough and the offense sustained drives.
I am going to go with Desert Vista's defense. They were great for the entire game, allowing one big play in the first half and just two late scores when the game was all but over.
Desert Vista v. Hamilton
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