Mistakes on both sides played a key role in Queen Creek’s 9-7 victory over Goodyear Desert Edge in the Division III state championship game on Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium.
No mistake was bigger than a high snap over the head of Scorpions punter Chris Brown, which turned into the game winning safety for the Bulldogs with 12 seconds left. Brown chased the ball down in the end zone but was met by Queen Creek defensive back Tucker Workman, who tackled Brown.
It was the last of many mistakes that cost both teams throughout the day.
For the game the Scorpions (13-1) were whistled for nine penalties for 75 yards. The biggest came on a fourth-and-3 for Queen Creek from the Desert Edge 25-yard line.
A Carson Jones pass over the middle was incomplete, but the Scorpions were called for holding which led to a Bulldog first down. On the ensuing play Matt Guida rushed 15 yards for the game-tying touchdown.
“It was a sloppy game tonight. But I think we were meant to win this game. We have worked our butts off all season and I think we deserved it.” Guida said.
The touchdown drive was the third time Queen Creek had reached the red zone in the game. In the previous two trips the Bulldogs missed a field goal in the first quarter.
On the Bulldogs' first drive of the second half, Guida fumbled inside the Scorpion 20-yard line. The senior running back made up for that fumble, however, and finished the game with 158 yards rushing on 25 carries.
The Queen Creek defense also did its share in holding the potent Desert Edge passing attack to just 101 yards on 11-of-24 passing with no touchdowns.