The stage was set, two perennial powers facing off in front of 5,000 fans.
Anyone that was there would be lying if they thought this wasn't going to be a blow out after the first five minutes. Saguaro jumped out to a 14-0 lead after just a few plays from scrimmage. Kare Lyles hit Byron Murphy, who snuck behind the coverage for a 45 yard score. Junior RB Stone Matthews then scampered 59 yards ot the 5 yard line and punched it in a few plays later and just like that it was 14-0 and all Sabercats.
Centennial benefited from two 5 yard 12 men on the field penalties that gave them a first down on 4th and 3. A 15 yard personal foul moved the Coyotes 15 yards closer and they capitalized when Isaac Steele ran a naked bootleg in from 5 yards out. 14-7 after the 1st quarter.
Centennial's Steven Bailey then accomplished every lineman's dream when the two-way player intercepted a Lyles screen pass on the next drive.
Again Centennial capitalized. Steele hit Carl Barrs for a big gain and Marcus Wakeham punched it in to knot the score at 14 each.
Saguaro struck quick, Kyles hit Murphy on a hitch and he went 52 yards to the house to give Saguaro the lead at 21-14.
The teams exchanged punts and on Centennial’s return, senior David McGriff took the ball to the Saguaro 5 yard line. Steele then hit Marcel Perez for a score to tie it at 21.
Saguaro fumbled the ball giving Centennial a chance to take the lead before the half ended but Saguaro blocked the field goal attempt.
Half time score: 21-21.
Unlike the first half, the second half didn’t start with the same fireworks. Centennial fumbled on their first drive of the second half but the Coyotes blocked the field goal attempt.
Centennial senior Quentin Gomez came to life, making some nice moves on a 22 yard gain and then scoring from 10 yards out to give CeHS their first lead of the game. 28-21 entering the 4th.
Centennial seemed to impose their will on Saguaro in the 4th, running behind their massive offensive line. John Rincon opened the game up on a 34 yard TD run and Steele sealed the deal on a QB sneak.
Final: Centennial 41, Saguaro 21
These are two very talented teams that will both be there in the end to compete for D1 and D2 state championships. Centennial seemed to overpower Saguaro in the 4th quarter and that is what clinched the game in the end as they played even for the first three quarters.
Centennial QB/CB Isaac Steele played a heck of a game on both sides of the ball but on offense he accounted for 3 scores and was elusive all night, keeping plays alive with his feet.