No. 34: Valley Union holds off Western Christian in battle of unbeatens for 1985 Class 1A title


No. 34

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):

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top