Anthony Braunreiter rushed for 278 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead Ironwood Ridge to their first ever State Championship game.
The 3rd seed Nighthawks beat Tempe Marcos De Niza for the second time this season and third time overall 35-21, to set up a date next Friday night with 4th-seed Peoria Centennial for the Division II title at Sun Devil Stadium.
Peoria Centennial knocked off top-seed Salpointe Catholic 28-14 in the other semifinal. The title tilt will be a re-match of the Week Six contest won by the Nighthawks 28-24 in Tucson.
Ironwood Ridge had gotten to the Final Four the previous two years but been denied a chance to play for the championship.
Centennial brought their track shoes to Tucson and like a fine sprinter blasted out of the starting gate, picked up speed at the turn and coasted home to a berth in their first state championship game.
The Coyotes (12-1) scored on their first two possessions and this game was never really in doubt. Tre'von Grant hit Austin Schleier on a swing pass from four yards out for a 7-0 lead.
After the Lancers went three-and-out on their initial possession. Centennial marched right back down and scored again when Dedrick Young pounded it over from two yards out.
The Lancers could never really catch up to the speed of the Coyotes.
UCLA recruit Jalen Ortiz took a pitch 87 yards to the house in the second quarter and the Coyotes led 21-0.
Down three scores The Lancers turned to the air to try and find a way to get their star Cameron Denson involved in the game.
Quarterback Andy Cota hit Denson for 37 yards on a 2nd and 34. Moments later Denson showed his ball skills jumping high into the air to snare a 35-yard pass from Cota.
Johnny Pena finished the drive with a two-yard touchdown run, but the rugged senior was held to just 35 yards on 11 carries for the night.
After that score and a subsequent defensive stop it appeared the game was beginning to shift, but Salpointe Catholic could never really seize any significant offensive momentum and the Coyotes put the game away early in the 3rd quarter on a 50-yard touchdown run by Oche' Myers.
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