It took both teams some time to get used to the downpour that hit the valley all day long. The first quarter ended in a 0-0 tie with neither team able to move the ball much in the three inches of water that pooled in the middle of the field from the 20 to the 20.
Chaparral struck first at the 9:32 mark in the 2nd quarter when Deveron Carr raced 75 yards to pay dirt. The extra point was no good and The Firebirds had a 6-0 lead.
That was also the score at the half as both teams squandered away scoring opportunities.
Saguaro came out and evened the score early on a drive that was kept alive by a personal foul and a pass interference. The Sabercats capitalized on these mistakes and tied it up at 6's when Tim Ruben, who was named the Gatorade Player of the Year today, ran it in from two yards outs.
Their PAT was also no good. Score 6-6.
Chaparral moved into enemy territory on their first long completion of the night. Spencer Stone hit Derek Oesterblad for a 50 yard gain but Saguaro DB Robert Huffer stripped the ball and came up with the recovery.
Saguaro broke the deadlock when TE Max Smith blocked a punt and DE Derek Bisgard recovered it in the endzone. The two-point conversion was no good and Saguaro took a 12-6 lead.
Saguaro played tough D and forced a punt and their offense moved the ball deep into Chaparral territory.
Saguaro took the ball right back on the first play when another wet ball came lose and Chris Merrill giving them great field position.
But the Sabercats came away with zero points.
Chaparral was deep in their own endzone but a Stone to Brandon Martin and a long by Matt Peterson had the Firebirds threatening to even it up.
Stone converted a crucial 4th down on a 4th and short but again Chaparral couldn't punch it in and turned the ball over on downs.
With just over two minutes to play, most thought the game was over but Saguaro fumbled the ball back at the 15 yard line with under two minutes to play. A short Stone run, a 6 yard Carr run and a mishandled snap gave the Firebirds 4th and 6. Stone's pass went incomplete and Saguaro walked away with a 12-6 win and a trip to the state championship.
Despite the rain, this was a great football game to watch! It came down to the last minute and was a hard fought contest on both sides of the ball.
The rain caused a lot of balls to hit the ground and neither team was able to establish a passing game.
With all of the action, this was one of the best games I have seen all year.
Derek Bisgard's fumble recover for a TD was the difference in the game.