Salpointe win gives Arizona sweep at Sollenberger Classic

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                </div>Salpointe Catholic put a huge exclamation point on this year’s Sollenberger Classic with an aerial game that dominated Liberty High School for a big victory in the second game of the […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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Salpointe Catholic put a huge exclamation point on this year’s Sollenberger Classic with an aerial game that dominated Liberty High School for a big victory in the second game of the annual kick-off event for the high school football season.

Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix won Friday night’s main event by stunning national power Bishop Gorman High School, 28-21, (see previous story) and Tucson’s Salpointe wrapped up the Arizona sweep in last night’s contest between two small-school teams by beating Liberty, 48-7.

Salpointe’s senior quarterback Andrew Cota riddled the Liberty defense, completing 13 of 18 passes for 265 yards.  Four of those passes were caught by Kaelin Deboskie, who turned them into three touchdowns and finished the night with 121 yards.

Cameron Denson enjoyed almost a mirror image of that performance by Deboskie, pulling in five receptions that he converted to 120 yards and two TDs.  Together, the pair of seniors make up one of the best receiving tandems in the state and provide the Lancers with the big-play capability that has made them an extremely dangerous team.

Cota, who reportedly is still looking for his first college offer, has also improved his running game in the off-season and displayed some of that by adding 71 yards on 10 carries to further add to Liberty’s defensive frustrations.

Salpointe’s no-huddle offense ran up points almost at will during the first half to build a 42-0 lead by the time halftime mercifully arrived.

This win now gives Arizona the edge over Nevada in the small-school competition with a second win in three games.  For the first five years, the AIA invited just two teams to compete and, for several years, tried to pit the Nevada big-school state champion against the Arizona title holder.

In 2011, a second game was added to give the smaller schools a chance to showcase their talent.

After that first game, organizers probably wondered if it was such a good idea when Arizona’s 3A state champion Show Low High School lost to Nevada’s 3A runner-up Moapa Valley, 28-26.  The high-scoring Show Low, which had lost just one game all season, had been heavy favorites to beat the 7-5 Moapa.

The next year, however, Blue Ridge High School evened the score and beat Moapa, which had returned for a second straight appearance.

Both ends of the double-header the last two years were played at University of Phoenix Stadium on the same day.  But Bishop Gorman, which hosted the games on their field this year, split the event into two days.

This year’s small-school battle appeared to be pretty evenly matched.  Salpointe went 12-2 last year and Liberty finished the season 11-2.  Liberty began its resurgence in 2009 when Rich Muraco took over as head coach.  Since then the school has gone 41-11, lost just six games over the last three years, and won three regional titles.

And Salpointe just handed them probably their worse loss in those three years.

Which should send a message to the schools back home in Arizona that have the Lancers on their schedule…bring your ‘A’ game, boys.

(Photo: Salpointe Catholic HS)