No. 2 Snowflake rallied from a 10-0 deficit entering the fourth quarter to pull out a 16-13 overtime victory over No. 6 CDO in a 4A state semifinal game at Snowflake on Friday night.
Snowflake (10-3) advances to the 4A championship game against No. 1 ALA-Gilbert North at 4 p.m. at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe next Friday.
CDO concludes its tumultuous season earning a spot in the semifinals for the first time since 2010 despite six starters, including five seniors, dismissed from the team halfway through the season because of the Amphi School District’s zero-tolerance 24-7 policy for alcohol use.
The Dorados (10-3) appeared to be in good shape against Snowflake after an 81-yard touchdown pass from Tristen McClelland to Daylon Beck with 2:55 left in the third quarter that gave them a 10-0 lead.
Snowflake responded to tie the game on its next two possessions with a 31-yard field goal by Sam Brown with 9:52 remaining and a 69-yard touchdown run by Bradden Lewis with 6:20 left.
CDO had the ball at the Snowflake 32 with 17 seconds left but an interception thwarted the scoring threat.
The Dorados’ opening possession in overtime stalled at their 13-yard line after a 3-yard loss on a run and two incomplete passes.
Alex Zillman, who made a 27-yard field goal earlier in the game, split the uprights on the 30-yard try to give CDO a 13-10 lead.
Snowflake’s possession in overtime started with a 9-yard from by Lewis followed by a stop by CDO for no gain by Lewis on the next play.
On third down, Lewis ran up the middle for the 1-yard game-winning touchdown. He finished with six rushes for 94 yards with two touchdowns.
CDO senior running back Jordan Thomas, who transferred from Ironwood Ridge this school year, totaled 20 rushes for 101 yards while running many times out of the Wildcat formation.
McClelland, a junior, completed 8 of 13 pass attempts for 131 yards. Beck, a senior, had two receptions for 89 yards.
The Dorados were attempting to return to the state championship game under 14-year coach Dustin Peace for the first time since losing to Saguaro in 2010. They won the state championship in 2009 in Peace’s first year.