For the past couple of weeks, quick scoring has been a strong staple of Heber Mogollon in the playoffs. Saturday, it wasn’t anything different.
Dallyn Despain led No. 5 Mogollon into a berth in the Division VI, eight man state championship, scoring six touchdowns in a 58-48 win over top-seeded Pima at Phoenix Shadow Mountain.
Mogollon will face third-seeded Badgad, a 66-34 winner over No. 2 Gilbert Christian, next Saturday at 6 p.m. at Shadow Mountain.
“We were outsized and found a way,” said Despain, whose longest score of 47 yards sealed the game on a third and 11 run with 34 seconds left in the game.
“Coming into this game, it was nerve racking playing the No. 1 seed. Every team we have played this year is bigger than us and we just wanted to show that we had it in us.”
While Despain was busy making defenders miss, Mogollon’s offense was sparked with a scoring flurry, getting 12 points within a minute.
After Pima’s Lane Lunt scored to make it 14-12, the Mogollon offense went to work.
Jimmy Adams scored on a 25-yard run to make it 20-12 with 8:23 left in the second quarter.
Despain then went to work.
After Brock Slade recovered a fumble that set up Mogollon at Pima’s 23-yard line, Despain scored on the second play of that possession with 8:04 left in the quarter.
After Pima got the ball back, Joe Gaylor picked off Pima quarterback Henery Jenkins with 7:56 in the quarter.
Three plays later, Despain broke an 8-yard run that put Mogollon up 32-12 with 7:34 on the clock.
“We did that against St. David (last week),” Mogollon coach Tim Slade said. “It was 21-0 with five minutes left in the first quarter and we just jumped on them early and we were able to do that today.”
Pima kept things interesting though, staying close until the closing minutes, finally took its first lead of the game when Jenkins connected with Andrew Judd on a 46-yard touchdown to go up 34-32.
“We are really proud of our defense,” said Ty Ruebush, who had an interception with 2:05 left in the game that ended Pima’s penultimate drive and set up Despain’s final score.
“We are playing really well on defense and have a great defensive line. We’ve just really been stepping up and hitting hard.”