If you looked at the two rosters during pre-game you would have thought the South (5A2/4A1) would have killed the North (5A1/4A2) as the North had just 23 players show up to play and the South was full of division-one talent. While the score ended up being 23-8 in favor of the South, the game did not go as many expected.
The North got the ball first, went three and out and saw the snap fly over the punter's head, through the endzone for a safety and with just two minutes off the clock the score was 2-0 South.
Sloppy play from both teams dominated the next few series. The South had a fake punt snuffed out by Basha's Quinton Andrews force a turnover on downs but the North could not capitalize, driving to the 17 yard line after a deep pass by Greg Walton, only to see the drive stall at the hands of Cactus' Zach Minter, who had two tackles for loss on the series.
In some irony, the South also drove the ball to the opposite 17 yard line but fumbled away their opportunity, fumbling it away. But the turnover went bad for the North as yet another punt was snapped out of reach and in the endzone for a second safety. 4-0 midway through the 2nd quarter- South.
Both teams exchanged interceptions late late in the 1st half but it would be the South that capitalized. Corona's Brendon Tunsterll's pick went for nothing as Jimmie Lewis picked the ball right back for the South. Cienega's Seth Mejias-Brean hit James Castillo for the first TD of the game but it was called back for illegal formation. Danny Compton nailed a 38 yard field goal with 58 seconds left to make it 7-0.
Mishaps again hurt the North squad as they fumbled the ball inside their own ten, the South recovered and Mejias-Brean scored with under 10 seconds to play in the half. PAT was no good and the South took a sloppy 13-0 lead into halftime.
The second half did not get much better as the penalties and sloppy play continued. Compton, headed to Air Force, added a second field goal and Mejias-Brean found Chris Heldore on a 46 yard scoring strike to put the game out of reach at 23-0.
The North score late in the game when Blake Decker from Mt. View found Turnsterll in the endzone. Decker hit teammate Alex Salas on the two-point conversion and made the final 23-8.
As I mentioned, the play was sloppy. A lot of turnonvers, penalties and miscues ruled this game. The North was never able to get much rolling offensively and the main reason was the South's d-line. Zach Minter was unblockable! Montana State got a steal in him. Fred Herdman, Terry Williams, Vince Shatwell and Vincent Keener were in the backfield all night.
The MVP of the game was Zach Minter. He had several tackles for loss and sacks. But the whole d-line was good.
Mejias-Brean accounted for three TDs and Peoria's Jeremy Sawyer had two picks but they were called back on penalties.
The Dirty South Wins
24-7 Football Top Stories
Championship SaturdayRecaps of yesterday's 6A, 5A and 4A state championship games in Arizona
Friday Night Phenoms: Semi-FinalsChampionship games are tomorrow, who stood out from last week's games