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CHAMPIONSHIP: Class 4A (known as Class AAA at the time)
SCORE: Amphi 23, Phoenix Maryvale 22
DATE: December 5, 1975
SITE: Arizona Stadium (approximately 11,500 in attendance)
GAME SUMMARY: Amphi rallied from being down 22-8 early in the fourth quarter to pull off its first state championship victory in a game that coach Jerry Loper said exemplified the Panthers’ “character” in their 12-1 season.
Amphi sophomore defensive back Herman Gutierrez sparked the comeback with an interception that he returned 11 yards to the Maryvale 35.
Herman’s brother Art, a senior fullback, had two carries for 18 yards to put the ball on the 17.
A perfectly timed option pass from Jim Krohn to Randy Barkley resulted in a 17-yard touchdown. Krohn’s two-point conversion run cut the lead to 22-16.
Amphi’s defense forced Maryvale to turn the ball over on downs with 3:06 remaininig at the Panther 20.
The Panthers quickly got the ball to the Maryvale 7 in 10 plays. Krohn’s pass through the end zone (in an attempt to stop the clock) resulted in a passing interference call on Maryvale.
Amphi had the ball at the Maryvale 2 with a first-down-and-goal situation with 17 seconds left. That’s when Barkley went around the right side to tie the game at 22.
Herman Gutierrez made the extra-point to give Amphi the lead and victory.
Three touchdown runs by Dick Harkin in the first half, including runs of 16 and 33 yards, led Maryvale to its 22-8 halftime lead.
Amphi took an 8-7 lead late in the first quarter when Krohn completed a touchdown pass to Steve Doolittle from the Maryvale 7 on a fourth-and-5 play. Doolittle’s halfback two-point conversion pass to Herman Gutierrez capped that scoring possession.
THEY SAID IT: “All year long, we’ve had to pull out the close ones. It seems like when they know they have to do something, the kids seem to pull together.” — Amphi coach Jerry Loper to the Arizona Daily Star.
DID YOU KNOW: First-year Ironwood Ridge coach Dale Stott was a starting lineman for the Panthers that season. … Jim Krohn, an all-state quarterback in 1975, went on to be a standout quarterback at Arizona who led the Wildcats to the 1979 Fiesta Bowl under coach Tony Mason. Krohn, bothered by a bruised throwing arm against Maryvale, completed 9 of 17 pass attempts for 133 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. He also rushed 11 times for 33 yards. His most important run, however, was the 2-point conversion early in the fourth quarter that cut the lead to 22-16. After his Arizona career concluded in 1979, Krohn went on to play in the CFL for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and USFL for the Philadelphia Stars.
BOXSCORE (printed in Tucson Citizen):