When Southern Arizona's leading rusher, Ka'Deem Carey, lofted a high-arching pass with good hang time into the end zone to senior Josh Robbins for a 12-yard touchdown, Canyon Del Oro took a 34-0, third-quarter lead over Sabino in the 4A-I state championship football game Saturday at the University of Arizona.
The play's message was clear, and well stated by Carey.
"We have an offense that can't be stopped," he said.
The Dorados manhandled the Sabino Sabercats 40-0 to win the 4A-I state title, the school's first title since 1977.
"To be 14-0 is awesome," said first-year coach Dustin Peace. "To be unbeaten against the schedule we had was a dream."
On the year, the Dorados defeated three teams ranked in the state's top 25, according to Max Preps. Along the way, CDO beat Santa Rita, Sabino twice, Cienega, Glendale Apollo and Scottsdale Saguaro, whose longtime win streak was halted, emphatically, by CDO, 44-0.
On Saturday, the Dorados built a quick, 14-0 first quarter lead.
On a third-and-three on his own 32, Carey went to the right, made a spin move back to the left, and raced 68 yards to pay dirt. On the next series, Carey had runs of 29 and 15 yards. Finally, on a second and goal at the Sabercats 3-yard line, Carey took it in for a 14-0 lead.
Carey had 131 yards rushing in the first quarter alone en route to 267 yards rushing and five touchdowns on 26 carries. And he threw the touchdown pass.
"It was the first time I've thrown it this year," Carey said. "I asked the coach to let me throw it."
Sabino had a golden opportunity to score in the first quarter. Division 1-bound Keanu Nelson broke a 28-yard run to get the ball into Dorados territory. After a couple of first downs, the Sabercats were threatening at the 15-yard line, before Nelson was stopped for no gain. A field goal attempt was missed to keep Sabino off the board.
CDO's quarterback Mike Lewis was intercepted on the final play of the first quarter, but the Sabercats were unable to take advantage.
The Dorados stopped running back Stephen Fraser on four straight plays. On fourth down, Fraser was hit by Jared Tevis, who jarred the ball loose, and also recovered it for CDO. Fraser was injured on the play and never returned.
backs make all-league, the safety may have been the team's most valuable. He had five interceptions, second only to Tevis among the Dorados.
His real value may have been when he covered Cienega's Trent Simon, the talented 6-3 reeceiver who burned the Dorados for six catches and 126 yards in the first half. Robbins, and others, held Simon to two catches in the final 24 minutes..
"Simon was outjumping our group," Robbins said. "They put me on him."
Robbins already has some scholarship prospects for next year.
"This is every high school football player's dream," Robbins said about winning the title.
"We have a real good team. We played our hearts out."