Moments after taking a knee and running out the clock, Cottonwood Mingus quarterback Jay Arthur donned a cap commemorating Mingus’ last state championship in 1997.
On the strength of 164 total yards and two touchdowns, Arthur put the Marauders in position to win their first title in eight years.
In the semifinals of the 4A Division II playoffs, second-seeded Mingus (11-2) defeated sixth-seeded Phoenix Sunnyslope 21-7 at Boulder Creek High School in Anthem.
“I’ve been dreaming about Tucson,” Arthur said. “This is a dream come true.”
Mingus plays Tucson Palo Verde for the championship Friday at Arizona Stadium.
From start to finish, Mingus dominated the Vikings (8-5) on the line of scrimmage. The Marauders had 328 rushing yards to the Vikings’ 41.
The Marauders also held Sunnyslope’s passing game in check. The Vikings managed just 46 yards on 4-for-19 passing with three interceptions.
Arthur gave Mingus a 6-0 lead in the first quarter on a 32-yard scramble. In the second quarter, he scored on a 1-yard run. He also ran in the two-point conversion to give the Marauders a 14-0 lead.
Arthur also accounted for Sunnyslope’s points.
T.J. Campbell intercepted an Arthur pass and returned it 68 yards to make the halftime score 14-7.
In the second half, Mingus pounded Sunnyslope on the ground. Of the Maruders' 33 second-half plays, 32 were runs.
Ryan Hauser scored Mingus’ final touchdown on a 21-yard run with 7:28 left in the game.
Overall, Arthur had 109 rushing yards. Mingus’ Jon Bodam led all rushers with 140 yards on 19 carries. Hauser had 82 yards on 17 carries.