CATCH UP ON THIS SERIES BY CLICKING HERE
CHAMPIONSHIP: Class 1A (knowns as Class C at that time)
SCORE: Valley Union 26, Western Christian 20
DATE: November 15, 1985
SITE: Phoenix Indian High School
GAME SUMMARY: Quarterback Mike Pope threw two touchdowns and ran for another as Valley Union improved to 11-0 with the title while handing Western Christian (10-1) its first loss of the season.
Pope became Valley Union’s catalyst after star running back Ozzie Anaya was hobbled throughout because of an ankle injury. Anaya set the eight-man record for rushing yards (2,414) still gained 93 yards on 25 carries in the final game of his high school career. He gained a state-record 477 yards rushing in a game that season.
After Anaya’s injury in the second quarter, he hauled in a 57-yard touchdown pass from Pope to cut Western Christian’s lead to 8-6.
Western Christian took a 14-12 lead early in the third quarter on a 42-yard fumble return by Jere Little for a touchdown.
Pope countered with a 17-yard scoring run on the next possession.
The Blue Devils, coached by Gary Mauldin, took a 26-14 lead after Emmet Pope, Mike’s brother, returned an interception for 12 yards for a TD.
Western Christian closed the lead to 26-20 on Little’s 54-yard scoring run late in the third quarter.
Anaya closed out strong, rushing eight times for 38 yards in a 12-play drive that left the Eagles possession with only 1:09 remaining.
Western Christian drove to the Valley Union 28-yard line before an interception in front of the end zone with 5 seconds left ended the threat.
THEY SAID IT: “(Winning state) is better than the (rushing) record. It’s the best thing that could’ve happened. The team is No. 1, you know?” — Anaya to the Arizona Republic after the victory.
DID YOU KNOW: Western Christian was a private high school in west Phoenix that closed its doors after the 1987-88 school year.
BOX SCORE (printed in Arizona Daily Star):