The stage was set for the perfect matchup for the Division IV crown Friday night at the Walkup Sky Dome on the NAU campus. The defending champ Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets from Pinetop/Lakeside brought in their patented fundamentally sound ground game and stingy defense. The Seton Catholic Sentinels from Chandler showcased their finesse passing game and flex defense.
Blue Ridge entered the contest with a 28 game winning streak intact including a 45 -14 thumping of Seton in last year’s semi-final. The Sentinels’ painful memory from that tilt was the impetus for a monumental upset. When the final gun sounded Seton Catholic exacted revenge with a final tally of 28 – 7.
Ryan Bresnahan, Seton’s quarterback, put together a first half that Division IV fans will remember for years. He completed touchdown passes of 21 yards and 46 yards to Daniel Garlid. The senior quarterback then ran for one more TD to complete Seton’s first half scoring.
Blue Ridge’s only score came on the ground as Yellow Jacket signal caller, Skyler Hill, punched it in from the 1-yard line. Paul Moro, a 300 win coach at Blue Ridge, stuck to his game plan as the “Jackets” chewed up turf and time. Blue Ridge accumulated 316 yards rushing and held possession for 32 minutes. But the Yellow Jackets’ execution was flawed as they were called for costly penalties, a failed fake field goal, a 4th and goal attempt that fell short and a fumble that resulted in an 88-yard return for six more points for Seton. Nolan Cook led the Yellow Jackets ground game with 156 yards and Skyler Hill ran for 67 yards.
Seton Catholic finished the season with a 13-1 record losing to Tempe Prep in the regular season. Blue Ridge finished at 14-1.