Both teams entered this game with something to prove. Desert Vista wanted to prove their win in this stadium last year against Hamilton for the title wasn't a fluke and Palo Verde was trying to shut up all of the critics that said Bishop Gorman should have been playing in this game.
The first quarter was sloppy. Both teams exchanged interceptions and neither got on the board.
Desert Vista struck first on a short Jarek Hilgers TD run with 10:36 left to play in the second quarter.
It took Palo Verde a matter of seconds to match the score as speedy RB Lee Griggs raced 71 yards to the house to knot the score at 7-7.
But after the early fireworks in this quarter, the rest of the half was fileld with penalties and turnovers, one that led to a Palo Verde field goal by Tom Randall with just a few seconds left in the half.
Down 10-7, Desert Vista marched down the field on The Opening drive behind the arm of QB Matt Young. He hit Lorenzo Melvin for a 14 yard gain and scrambled for 15 more yards before hooking up with Austin Hicks on a 26 yard scoring strike to give the Thunder the lead back at 14-10.
Despite several fumbles, Desert Vista was able to get on the board one more time in the third. Hilgers made some nice runs and DV was aided by a two 15 yard personal fouls that set up Zach Gonzalez's 1 yard TD run that pushed the lead to 20-10.
Palo Verde's attempt to comeback was killed when their 4th quarter punt return TD was called back for a helmet to helmet flag.
Final DV 20 PV 10
If Desert Vista wants to repeat as state champs they need to take care of the football. The Thunder turned the ball over four times and fumbled three other times that they recovered.
Palo Verde RB Lee Griggs getting hurt in the second quarter really changed the face of this game. He was their home run hitter.
This game was heated from the beginning. There seemed to be a lot of trash talk in pre-game and there were multiple personal fouls committed by both teams. One Palo Verde player was ejected and a near fight started next to the Desert Vista sideline.
Desert Vista QB Matt Young looked good in his first start. He was accurate on his throws and made plays on the ground as well.
DV Hangs on to Beat Palo Verde
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