CATCH UP ON THIS SERIES BY CLICKING HERE
CHAMPIONSHIP: Class 3A (known as Class A at the time)
SCORE: Eloy Santa Cruz 13, Ray 7
DATE: November 30, 1979
SITE: Scottsdale Saguaro High School
GAME SUMMARY: Dave Lumia, an Arizona journalism grad who went on to be the sports editor for Tribune Newspapers and the Arizona Republic, reported on this game for The Arizona Daily Star.
Lumia wrote that Santa Cruz’s “defensive unit, performing in the shadow of its renown offense, reserved some glory for itself by leading the Dust Devils to their second consecutive Class A state football title.”
Santa Cruz, which featured safety Mossy Cade, who went on to play at Texas before advancing to the Green Bay Packers for two seasons, held Ray to 42 yards total offense and one first down in the second half en route to clinching a perfect season at 13-0.
Cade was also an all-state running back for coach Bobby Jones, whose team fell behind 7-0 in the first quarter after Ray’s defense forced two turnovers on Santa Cruz’s first two possessions.
Santa Cruz tied the game at 7 with 2 minutes left in the first quarter after Cade and fellow back James Malone rushed seven times for 63 yards in the possession, capped by Cade’s 15-yard rushing touchdown.
The Dust Devils scored the game-winning touchdown on the first drive of the second half, which started on its 40-yard line after Ray’s kickoff went out of bounds.
Cade put Santa Cruz ahead 13-7 with a 3-yard scoring run. In a previous play during that possession, Malone fumbled the ball into the end zone and Ray (10-2) recovered, but the Dust Devils maintained possession because a Ray defender jumped offsides.
Santa Cruz shut down Ray’s offense from there. The only first down in the second half the Dust Devils allowed was a 12-yard run on a fake punt.
Cade, whose brother Mike Cade went on to star at ASU, finished with 173 yards on 25 carries and Malone had 112 yards on 23 rushes.
THEY SAID IT: “It was a very good ballgame between two very fine and two very well-coached teams, and in those kinds of games, the team that doesn’t make a crucial mistake will win.” — Ray coach Tom Hurt told Lumia.
DID YOU KNOW: Mossy Cade was the sixth overall pick in the 1984 draft, taken by the San Diego Chargers. He never played with the Chargers, instead going to the USFL to play for the Memphis Showboats in 1985. The Chargers eventually traded Cade to the Green Bay Packers for two draft choices, including a first-round pick in 1986. Cade never panned out with Green Bay, especially after he was convicted in 1987 of two counts of second degree sexual assault on his wife. He was acquitted of a third count and served 15 months in jail.
BOX SCORE (printed in Arizona Daily Star):