TEMPE — Randy Robbins is a Casa Grande graduate, former defensive coordinator and longtime athletic director.
The Arizona cornerback great, who went on to play Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, is also now a state champion with the Cougars.
Robbins, Casa Grande’s athletic director, walked on to the turf with his hands raised in jubilation when the last second went off the clock Friday in Casa Grande’s 33-28 win over Poston Butte at Sun Devil Stadium.
It is the Cougars’ first state title in the Arizona Interscholastic Association format. The school won a state championship in 1958 with a 9-0-1 record before the AIA administered the playoffs.
The last time Randy Robbins felt this good here was in 1983 when @ArizonaFBall beat ASU on a last-second FG by Max Zendejas. He actually feels better than that tonight with his alma mater @CGUHS_Cougars winning the 4A state title. He is the school’s AD. Congratulations Randy. pic.twitter.com/gW7Fhd2Zjj
— Javier Morales (@JavierJMorales) December 11, 2021
“I am so happy for our kids and our community — they worked so hard for this,” said Robbins, who graduated from Casa Grande in 1980 before playing with the Wildcats from 1980-83.
“The great thing about it is these kids have been playing together since youth football when they were 6, 7 years old. To see them finish out with a state championship, first one in our school’s history, this is awesome. … I waited 42 years for this. I graduated in 1980 … I’m just elated.”
Robbins was jubilant after a win before at Sun Devil Stadium — in 1983 with Arizona when Max Zendejas made a last-second field goal to beat ASU 17-15.
Casa Grande quarterback Angel Flores, an NAU commit completed 17 of 24 passes for 299 yards and a touchdown and he also rushed for 119 yards on 19 carries with three touchdowns in the Cougars’ win against Poston Butte.
On a fourth-and-10 play at the Casa Grande 38-yard line trailing 28-27, Flores connected with Demetrius Garrett on a 57-yard pass to the Poston Butte 5.
RJ Keeton rushed in for the touchdown to put Casa Grande ahead 33-28 with 2:33 left.
Poston Butte’s last-gasp possession ended at the Casa Grande 23 with an incomplete pass in the end zone as time expired.
A penalty halted Casa Grande’s celebration only for a few seconds — the flag was thrown on Poston Butte for an illegal receiver downfield — and the Cougars’ players and coaches erupted again in celebration.
“When the referee said the penalty wasn’t on us … hey, praise God,” Robbins said.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District