Reliable target Matt Haggerty focused on bringing Seton championship

Reliable target Matt Haggerty focused on bringing Seton championship


Reliable target Matt Haggerty focused on bringing Seton championship


Matt Haggerty was shut down two weeks ago by Cottonwood Mingus. To Chandler Seton Catholic, that means only two catches.

But the senior wide receiver turned both into touchdowns, including the game winner in the final quarter that gave him a chance to show what he can really do when frequently targeted.

Haggerty pulled in 11 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns in what he called his best game of the season during a 42-14 semifinal win over No.2 Show Low. It gave him one more chance at vindication.

The painful memory of getting blown out by Lakeside Blue Ridge 45-14 in last year’s semifinal fueled Haggerty into manic off-season workouts to get him ready for this day. He will lead Seton (12-1) into the Division IV football final against Blue Ridge, which hasn’t stopped rolling since leaving Seton in its wake last season.

Blue Ridge (14-0) is going for a second consecutive unbeaten season and 13th state championship since 1987 under coach Paul Moro. The rematch is set for 7 p.m. at Northern Arizona’s Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff.

“Last year, they beat us bad,” Haggerty said. “We were a junior team last year.

“We have to be physical,” Haggerty said. “We have to be fast. Defensively, we have to do our job. If we do our job, I think we’ve got them.”

Seton coach Rex Bowser likely will use Ryan Bresnahan and David Gesicki at quarterback to give Blue Ridge different looks. The plays don’t differ much whoever is leading the offense.

“I’ll be curious to see how they handle the quarterbacks,” Haggerty said. “From a receiving standpoint, it doesn’t matter who is playing quarterback.”

Haggerty leads the team with 64 catches for 1,001 yards and 19 touchdowns. He averages 36 yards a punt and 23 yards a punt return. At safety, he has seven interceptions, returning two for touchdowns.

“You could probably play him at center, and he’d be a great player,” Bowser said. “There is nothing he can’t do on a football field. He started out as a freshman quarterback.”

Haggerty grew up throwing a football around during family outings with his cousin, former Phoenix Arcadia quarterback Colby Kirkegaard, CQwho is now playing at Wyoming.CQ

“He’s a great player, a nice kid,” Haggerty said. “It’s nice to have him to talk to about sports.”

Haggerty does it all for Seton, but he is happy to have help. In the 28-21 quarterfinal win over Mingus, Daniel GarlidCQ had 11 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown CQwith Eric ProbstCQ catching three passes for 98 yards and a score.CQ

“We don’t have a set game plan,” Haggerty said. “Mingus shut me down. But Daniel had 11 receptions. It depends on who they want to take away, because whoever they take away, they’re going to have to give it up somewhere else.”

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