North Canyon came out looking for the upset, intercepting two of Connor Brewer's passes and capitalizing with early scores to take a 13-0 lead over undefeated Chaparral.
Justin D'Angelico forced the first turnover and it didn't take long for Dominic Portocarrero to find Ryan Trujillo in stride for the Rattlers' first score.
Jason Walker intercepted the next pass and this time Portocarreo got in from a few yards out and a stunned Chaparral was down 13-0 on Fox Sports AZ after the first quarter.
But it didn't take Dwayne Garrett long to bail his Firebird buddies out, scoring two times in the second period to give Chaparral a lead that they would never relinquish.
Chaparral added another score just before the half to take a 21-13 lead into haftime. The Firefird's D forced a punt and gave the offense the ball back with just under a minute to go and in great field position at midfield.
The second half did not have nearly as much scoring as each team got on the board just once in the third quarter.
Chaparral added three point on the opening drive after a 40 yard Ben Damari field goal.
Portocarrero hit Trujillo on another deep pass, this one from 68 yards away to pull NC within 5.
With the score 24-19 through the fourth, both teams had their chances to put the game away but neither got back on the board. Things got interesting with 2 minutes to play though. Garrett fumbled on a 4th and short play that would have sealed the game. The Rattlers recovered and Portocarrero hooked up with Tavonn Dodson to move the ball to the 40 but NC would get no closer.
Final 24-19 Chaparral
Credit North Canyon for playing tough but this was the second ugly win in a row for Chaparral. Probably not how Coach Ragle envisioned his team playing headed into the playoffs after a great start to the season. The broadcasters referenced multiple times in the game a possible Chap v. Centennial 5A2 title game but there is a lot of football to be played and come playoff time, one bad game sends you home.
There were six turnovers in this game and honestly the game could have gone either way. This is North Canyon's 6th loss, 4th in a row, and they will need some help to get into the playoffs. They face St. Mary's next week.
Each time I watch Dwayne Garrett, I wonder why he doesn't have more offers. His two TDs were the difference tonight for the Firebirds.