Top-ranked Desert Edge (13-0) kept its perfect season and championship hopes alive on Saturday night, by beating fifth-seeded Williams Field (11-2) 37-27 in one half of the Division III semifinals.
The Scorpions will face No. 2 Queen Creek (13-0) next Saturday afternoon for the Division III state championship. The game will be held at Sun Devil Stadium. Kickoff is at 3:07 p.m.
The Bulldogs had no problems getting by No. 14 Nogales on Saturday night. They beat them 35-0.
Desert Edge seemed ready to blow the doors off the game in the first half, as they took a 17-0 lead before Williams Field could blink.
Give credit to the Black Hawks, they could’ve laid down and died on the turf at Sandra Day O’Connor High School after being punched in the chops like that, but they didn’t.
Williams Field would cut the lead to 17-14, thanks to two touchdown passes from quarterback Jeddediah Fagg to wide receiver Cole Forsgren.
Forsgren had three touchdown catches on the night.
The name of the game was penalties and turnovers on the Black Hawks, which Desert Edge was able to capitalize on several times.
The game did get a little chippy and sloppy at the end, as the Scorpions were called for multiple personal foul penalties, which at one point had their offense at a 4th-and-50.
This of course didn’t please Desert Edge head coach Rich Wellbrock.
“I didn’t like the way it ended,” Wellbrock said. “Those are two hard-hitting football teams out there tonight, but you know what? We’ll take it. It [doesn’t] have to be pretty at this time of year.”
Wide receiver Ismael Murphy-Richardson says the team can’t afford to have those kind of mistakes against Queen Creek next Saturday.
“We just got to overcome that and calm down, play our game, stay poised, stay calm and we got it [state championship],” Murphy-Richardson said.
It would mean everything to Murphy-Richardson if Desert Edge won the championship next weekend.
“We’ve never done it before [win a championship],” Murphy-Richardson said. “I’ve never been undefeated before. It’s a first time for everything, we gotta do it.”