The 2008 season officially ended with the 5A2 and 5A1 games in Glendale at UPS. 24-7 was there to catch the action. Here are our recaps:
Westview v. Centennial
Westview got the ball and the Knights made it very obvious as to what their plans were. They wanted to play ball control offense and limit Centennial's touches on O. They snapped the ball with under five seconds to go on the play clock every play. And it worked except for a meltdown at the end of the first half.
WV took four minutes off the clock on their first possesion but it led to a punt. Centennial gave the ball right back to Westview on a fumble that the Knights recovered near midfield. Westview bruised their way into scoring position behind defensive lineman turned fullback Terry Williams and QB Jourdan Grandon. CHS's Dylan Lusk sacked Grandon to stop kill the momentum and Westview missed a scoring opportunity when they missed a 29 yard field goal.
A holding penality brought back a big Anthony Hughes run and stalled the Coyotes next possesion, forcing a punt which was blocked by Michael Sauceda. WV took over at the 34 but this time came away with points. R.J. Robinson got 16 yards on the first play and Grandon moved the chains on a nice run on 3rd and 4. A few plays later Eric Ramsey rumbled in from 7 yards out to give Westview a 7-0 lead with time winding down in the first half.
Westview's D continued to play tough, forcing a punt. Unfortunately, the punter was roughed and gave Centennial the ball back and seemed to light a fire in the Coyotes. QB Dain McFarland hooked up with Justin Callahan for a 16 yard gain. Then found Anthony Hughes for 10 more. A false start, a holding and a fumble on a reverse would stop most drives but McFarland found the shifty John Hughes who raced in from 24 yards out to even the score. A big block by Jimmie Lewis helped Hughes get in.
Centennial's D forced a punt and gave the offense the ball back with 30 seconds to play in the half. McFarland hit Callahan for 21 yards and found him again wide open in the endzone from 21 yards out and no time left in the half. The PAT was blocked and Centennial took a 13-7 lead into the half.
Centennial started the second half like the did the first, with a turnover. nate McOwen picked off McFarland and gave the Knights the ball in scoring range. Unfortunately for WV, like the first half, they walked away with no points as they missed another field goal.
John Hughes took the first play of the next drive 80 yards for a score for Centennial and gave them a 20-7 lead that would hold for the remainder of the game. Neither team was able to get much going offensively and exchanged turnovers before the final seconds ticked off the clock and gave CHS their third straight 5A2 state title in a row.
If not for the meltdown in the last two minutes of the first half, Westview could have won this game. Centennial gave them every opportunity to win it but they couldn't take advantage.
The Centennial defense gets it here. Their offense turned the ball over to Westview in scoring range several times but they held tough and allowed just 7 points and held Grandon and the Westview run game in check for most of the night.
Hamilton v. Brophy
These two teams battled it out earlier in the season with Hamilton managing a 10-0 win. This game turned out to be nearly the same, low scoring with some solid defense being played.
The first quarter ended in a 0-0 tie but Hamilton was marching and scored on the first play of the second quarter. Zak Hambsch hit TE Tim Fowler from 4 yards out to build a 7-0 lead. The score was set up on a Hambsch to Travis Dean to Dante Alexander double pass theat nearly resulted in a score if Alexander hadn't stepped out.
Hamilton's defense played tough in the first half, forcing Brophy to punt on all four possesions. Hamilton kicked a FG later in the second quarter to take a 10-0 lead in the half.
Speedster Ryan Milus returned the opening kickoff for the Huskies 95 yards for a score and just like that it was 17-0.
Brophy punted again on their first drive but got some life when Hamilton fumbled the ball and Brophy recovered. The Broncos converted the turnover into points, kicking a FG to finally get on the baord with 3 minutes left in the 3rd period.
With the new found life, Brophy forced a punt and marched down and got right back in the game. Workhorse running back Max Leonesio punched the ball in from 9 yards out and all of a sudden it was 10-7 with 8 minutes to play in the game.
Jason Abbott picked off Hambsch on the next drive and all of Husky nation was silent. The Broncos moved the chains twice to get in scoring position. First QB Beau Maggi found Peter Kelly for a 20 yard gain and Leonesio rumbled for a first down on 3rd and 6. Then Hamilton junior DB Devon Carrington stepped up. He sacked the QB and had a PBU on 4th and 6 to stop the drive.
Zach Bauman had a big run for Hamilton to clinch the game for the Huskies.
Final 17-10 Hamilton over Brophy
Brophy's offense took too long to finally show up. They punted five times before hitting that field goal late in the 3rd. Their defense played well enough to keep them close for their run at the end to make for an exciting game.
Ryan Milus' kickoff return turned out to be the difference in the game.
So another football season is over. Congrats to all of our state champs. Good luck to all of the seniors who will head of to college. Thanks for the great 2008 season to all of the players, coaches and fans of Arizona high school football.