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CHAMPIONSHIP: Class 4A (known as Class AA at the time)
SCORE: Flagstaff 10, Flowing Wells 7
SITE: Mesa Dobson High School
GAME SUMMARY: Flowing Wells looked like it was on its way to its second state title in school history and an unbeaten season but Flagstaff (9-3) pulled off the upset to capture its second straight championship.
Daniel Casado’s 13-yard touchdown reception with 41 seconds remaining was the difference. He beat single coverage in the left side of the endzone, catching Vinnie Zanzucchi’s pass just before stepping out of bounds.
Flowing Wells (11-1) had one more gasp but Flagstaff’s George Pryor intercepted a pass and the Eagles ran out the last 30 seconds.
Four interceptions and a fumble lost contributed to the Caballeros’ loss.
A second-quarter interception by Flagstaff helped set up the game’s first score, a 43-yard field goal by Faren Mandel.
The Caballeros scored their lone touchdown with 2:59 remaining in the third quarter when running back Kevin Jones, the game’s leading rusher with 83 yards on 29 carries, scored on a 3-yard carry.
Flagstaff’s winning scoring possession started at midfield after fielding a punt. Zanzucchi completed passes of 15, 13 and 14 yards to put the ball at the Flowing Wells 13 with 53 seconds remaining.
After an incompletion, Zanzucchi pump-faked and hit Casados with the winning touchdown.
THEY SAID IT: “I’m sure (the field) affected both teams. I wished it wasn’t that way.” — Flowing Wells coach Larry Gray to the Tucson Citizen about the sanded field at Dobson after heavy rains the week before made for a slippery surface.
DID YOU KNOW: Flowing Wells receiver Mike Effing broke the Arizona record for career receptions when he caught a 13-yard pass from Ken Leikem in the third quarter. That gave him 150 catches, breaking the previous mark of 149 set by Sahuaro’s John Mistler. Effing, a senior, finished at 152 receptions.