No. 18: Salpointe dominates Chaparral behind Denson’s 300 total yards in 2013 championship


No. 18


SCORE: Salpointe 46, Scottsdale Chaparral 20

DATE: November 29, 2013

SITE: Arizona Stadium (approximately 10,000 in attendance)

Fox Sports Arizona interviewed Dennis Bene along with Salpointe QB Andrew Cota and State Player of the Year Cam Denson after the 2013 state championship (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

GAME SUMMARY: Salpointe (14-0) celebrated its first state championship in it usual dominating fashion that season under coach Dennis Bene.

The Lancers scored at least 40 points in all of their 14 games. Chaparral challenged them like none other, scoring the most against them that season. It was only the second time Salpointe allowed more than nine points in a game.

A Lancer goal-line stand, followed by a Andrew Cota-to-Cameron Denson 98-yard scoring strike was a 14-point swing that was too much for Chaparral to overcome. Instead of cutting the lead to 19-13, the Firebirds trailed 26-6 going into halftime.

Denson, who played mostly at cornerback at Arizona, scored two quick touchdowns in the third quarter to help Salpointe pull away.

After Chaparral cut the lead to 26-13, Denson took the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown and in Salpointe’s next possession, he caught a 36-yard scoring strike from Cota.

Denson showed more of his athletic ability grabbing a lateral pass from Kaelin Deboskie after an interception and returning the ball 70 yards to the Chaparral 10.

Salpointe, which lost its two previous state championship appearances in 1981 and 1991, trailed for the first time that season taking advantage of a shanked punt that went only 6 yards. Tyler Whiley capped a 22-yard possession with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Cota converted on four third-down plays in the next possession and connected with Deboskie for a 7-yard score to tie the game at 6.

More punting problems allowed Chaparral to have the ball at Salpointe 1 after the punter took a bad snap out of the end zone.

The Lancers’ defense proceeded to stuff the Firebirds on four straight plays for the turnover on downs.

The Cota-to-Denson 98-yard backbreaker of a touchdown occurred afterward.

Cota completed all eight of his passes in the half for 154 yards while Chaparral mustered only 20 yards on 19 plays before halftime.

Cota finished with 266 passing yards while completed 12 of 19 attempts. Denson and Deboskie each had seven receptions with Denson tallying 148 yards and Deboskie 112. Denson had 300 total yards including returns.l

THEY SAID IT: “I was just excited to make big plays for my team. Everybody made big plays.” — Salpointe senior Cameron Denson.

DID YOU KNOW: Salpointe outscored its opponents 697-101 that season. Denson went on to play at Arizona for Rich Rodriguez as a four-star prospect. Denson left the Arizona progam in 2017 to concentrate on his academics. He went to NAU in 2018 as a graduate transfer.

BOX SCORE (printed in the Arizona Daily Star):

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