It is hard to really appreciate a dynasty when you are currently living through one. But what the Saguaro Sabercats have done over the last two seasons has been nothing short of spectacular.
For the third time in four years, the number one seed Saguaro are the Division III state champion after knocking off number two Williams Field on Saturday afternoon from Sun Devil Stadium 45-21.
“After the state championship last year, someone asked me whats my number one goal,” said Christian Kirk after the game. “I said it’s to win a state championship senior year and this has been a dream come true and I couldn’t ask for it to go any better.”
“We beat them pretty good during the season and they came out and gave us everything today,” added Head Coach Jason Mohns. “Congratulations to Williams Field. There is a reason they were playing us here today.”
Williams Field would give Saguaro all they could handle however. A team that scored just seven points on them earlier this season struck first on a Jovanni Allen interception returned for score off of Saguaro Quarterback Karé Lyles. Down 21-14, the Blackhawk defense would force a Christian Kirk fumble which could turn into a Braedyn Bushman touchdown to tie the game at 21 late in the second.
That fumble made Christian Kirk “as made as he’s ever been on the football field.” The result? Kirk would take the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown to give the Sabercats a 28-21 lead just before halftime, and they would never look back.
“After that play, the ref came up to me and said ‘hey number two! Just run baby! So that’s what I did,” Kirk said. “And I took it all the way to the endzone.”
Kirk would finish his high school career with four touchdowns in the game. That kick return plus three more rushing scores on 24 carries and tallying 202 total yards on the ground. He would also have 61 receiving yards and block a field goal in the game. After throwing that early interception, Lyles settled in and would throw 16 for 22 for 269 yards and two scores. One to junior Byron Murphy and the other to sophomore Robert Branch.
“I am just so proud of our team,” mentioned Mohns. “You don’t win 27 games (in a row) without having guys with a lot of character and without putting a lot of work in and that’s what they’ve done. Really proud of them.”
Williams Field gave everything they had for four quarters. They rode the excellent play once again of their running back Bushman behind that great offensive line. Bushman had 188 yards rushing on the game on 22 carries. The Blackhawks as a team would get a combined 237 on the ground.
As a result of the state title win, Saguaro finishes 2014 with 27 consecutive wins with their last loss being to rival being Chaparral back at the start of the 2013 season. For this senior class at Saguaro led by Kirk, they went a combined 47-7 with three state titles. This program was one of the best dynasties before they showed up, and this 2015 class has just carried on the tradition.