By Greg Perkins
The Snowflake Lobos are headed to the Division IV state championship football game thanks to their impressive win over previously unbeaten and top ranked Seton Catholic last Saturday night. The Lobos jumped on top of the number one seed early, gaining momentum they never really relinquished en route to the 33-20 win in the semifinal round.
Snowflake set the tone early with a 57-yard scoring run, taking the 7-0 lead just minutes into the contest. Later in the first period Drew Schneider scooted in from 18 yards out, extending the Lobo lead to 14-0 and putting the Sentinels in panic mode. Seton did answer the call, though, cutting into Snowflake’s lead with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Zach Wade to George Wolter. The point after boot cut the lead in half.
Early in the second period Wade and Wolter connected for the second time, this one coming from 36 yards out, tying the score at 14-14.
Midway through the second period the Lobos took the lead for good as Porter Black capped a scoring drive on a two-yard plunge. Brenton Ballard’s point after made the score 21-14 at the half.
Snowflake punched in another short yardage score with three minutes left in the third period to extend the margin to 27-14 with a failed point after attempt. Schneider scored the final points of the period and the game for Snowflake, cruising in from 50 yards away inside the final minute of the third period, making the lead 33-14 and putting the Lobos within sight of the championship game.
Seton had one score left in its season as Wade completed a 24-yard scoring toss to Jacob Terrill.
The Lobos did a tremendous job against Seton Catholic’s running game, holding the Sentinels to only 50 yards on the ground. Wade piled up yardage through the air, though, completing 20 of 32 passes for 365 yards with three scores, but Snowflake also intercepted him twice on the night, turning away potential scoring drives.
The Lobos will play for the state championship at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 29, against No. 3 seeded River Valley. The Dust Devils squeezed past No. 2 Sahuarita 36-33 last Saturday, upending the previously unbeaten Mustangs to earn their trip to the finals. The title game will be played at North Canyon High School in Phoenix.
River Valley ended Snowflake’s season last year in the quarterfinal round by a final of 28-14, then fell to Blue Ridge in the championship game. The Dust Devils certainly don’t want another runner-up trophy, but Snowflake just may get revenge in the biggest game of this season.