Deer Valley pulls off historic upset of Centennial

Deer Valley pulls off historic upset of Centennial

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Deer Valley pulls off historic upset of Centennial

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Walt Jarvis was at the bottom of a pile of football players, clutching the ball and holding on to history.

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The Glendale Deer Valley senior wide receiver had just corralled an onside kick from Peoria Centennial to seal Deer Valley’s 20-14 DivisionII playoff upset win on Friday and secure the first trip into the state semifinals in school history.

The win set off a huge celebration in the Deer Valley sideline and stands.

“I feel on top of the world right now,” Deer Valley senior quarterback Devon Palomino said.

Palomino got things rolling for No.12 seed Deer Valley in the first quarter when he hit Jacob Dennis for a 23-yard touchdown to give Deer Valley a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

But the real tone for the game was set by Deer Valley’s defense on the next drive. Centennial pounded the ball on a 15-play, 73-yard drive that reached the Deer Valley 7-yard line. Centennial relied solely on its vaunted running game with backs Dedrick Young and Quentin Gomez as it marched down the field.

But on a fourth-and-2 play, Deer Valley’s defense stuffed Young and made a statement.

“That was huge,” Deer Valley coach Eric Bolus said. “If the kids had any doubt in their head, it was solved at that point.”

Deer Valley (9-3) relied on its defense at one more key juncture later in the game. After Centennial quarterback Isaac Steele came off the bench to score a touchdown and cut Deer Valley’s lead to 14-7, Centennial forced a punt and seemed to have the momentum. But Deer Valley got a key third-down stop near midfield to set up the offense.

Deer Valley then capitalized with a crucial score. On third and 13, Palomino (9for21, 161 yards and one touchdown) found senior wideout Logan Adcock open in the flat, and Adcock dove for a crucial first down near the Centennial goal line. On the next play, Amyer Armstrong crashed through the line for his second touchdown, giving Deer Valley a 20-7 edge.

Centennial (10-2) wasn’t going to give up easily. The No.4 seed in DivisionII had reached 10 consecutive state semifinals and hadn’t lost a game at home since 2010. Steele threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Simpson with less than a minute to play.

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