Salpointe proves it belongs; Bijan Robinson graduates as the best ever




Bijan Robinson (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Chandler held on to defeat Salpointe 24-16 Saturday night to advance to the championship of the Open Division, to be played Saturday, Dec. 7, at Sun Devil Stadium against Saguaro. Chandler (12-0) will be working on the fifth state championship in program history since 2014 and the fourth in a row at the state’s highest level under first-year head coach Rick Garretson….

For Salpointe, a “mistake free” game was hindered by five turnovers. There were three interceptions with two coming in the red zone, a fumble and a bad snap on a punt that was gathered up by Chandler Jr. DE Zion Magalei for a touchdown to give the Wolves a 24-16 lead with 7:46 left….

Bijan Robinson’s 7,036 yards puts him well ahead of former Tolleson standout Marcus Thomas(5,878) for tops in the “big school” 4A-6A category. Robinson also holds the state’s career TD mark with 114 and his 103 TDs rushing puts him 14 ahead of Glendale senior Kevin Daniels.….

The game marked the end of an incredible 19-year career for Salpointe head coach Dennis Bene. He finishes with 184 wins, 14 region titles and a championship on three trips to the state final. His 2013 undefeated campaign, that resulted in a 46-20 win over Chaparral to take the Division II (4A) championship, will remain as one of the top teams in Arizona history but his run from 2016 through Saturday night will be just as legendary and may never be matched from a team from Southern Arizona….


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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