This was not the football game anyone expected out of two unbeaten teams.
Especially when it comes to the Division IV semifinals.
But Lakeside Blue Ridge turned what was supposed to be an epic battle with Seton Catholic into a one-sided blowout with a 45-14 victory on Saturday. Expectations of a tense semifinal football ended early.
The Yellow Jackets advance to next Saturday's title game at Northern Arizona University's Walkup Skydome where they will face rival-Show Low, the team that beat them in last year's Class 3A championship game.
With the loss, Seton ends what was a remarkable season. The Sentinels won 12 straight going into Saturday's game and won in dominating fashion with a powerful offense led by quarterback Ryan Bresnahan.
"Eventually this sting will pass and they will remember what a special team this is," Seton coach Rex Bowser said. "Right now there are a lot of tears."
Bresnahan and the rest of the Seton offense ran into a quick and swarming Yellow Jacket defense that didn't allow any kind of sustained drive. Both of the Sentinels touchdowns came on or right after big plays.
"They had a lot to do with that," Bowser said. "I can't say enough about how good they are. But we did some things like drop passes that we haven't done all year."
It was the Blue Ridge defense that helped get the scoring started in the first quarter when linebacker Zane Gouker picked off Bresnahan and ran the football back to the 17-yard line.
It took eight plays, but Chans Cox finally scored from the 1-yard line to put the Yellow Jackets up 7-0. Late in the first quarter quarterback Skyler Hill hit do-everything standout Danny Groebner with a 49-yard scoring strike.
It was the Cox and Groebner Show for most of the night. Groebner, who came into the game with 1,199 yards rushing, had 218 yards Saturday. He also scored four touchdowns.
Two of them came in spectacular fashion, the 49-yard pass play and then a 94-yard run midway through the third quarter that gave the Yellow Jackets a 21-0 lead. Groebner broke at least five tackles and then outran the entire Seton defense. Cox himself rushed for 101 yards on 21 carries and scored two touchdowns.
So potent was the Blue Ridge offense that it totaled 560 yards of offense and even backed off for most of the fourth quarter. Seton had no answer for the speed and execution of the Yellow Jackets.
Quarterback Skyler Hill threw just 12 passes, but completed nine for 137 yards and one touchdown.
"Skyler completes 74 percent of his passes," Blue Ridge coach Paul Moro said. "He's one of the best quarterbacks in the state."
Seton's two scores came on a 1-yard run by AJ Ciferno and a 33-yard pass from Bresnahan to his favorite target, Adam Engelbert. Bresnahan did throw for 272 yards, and many of those yards came late and without much help from Seton's previously-strong ground game. Seton had just 27 yards rushing and 19 of those came from a scrambling Bresnahan.