Ka'Deem Carey made a sweet spin move to elude a lunging Sabino tackler, a swivel of the hips to freeze the next level of defenders, and then set off on a 68-yard foot race that ended in the end zone.
That was three plays into the 4A-I football state championship game at Arizona Stadium on Saturday, and already Carey - Canyon del Oro's star running back - had made completely clear who was the night's premier force.
Carey rushed for 131 yards in the first quarter alone, en route to 268 yards on the ground and six combined touchdowns - five rushing and one via a pass - as the No.1-seeded Dorados won their first state title since 1977 with a 40-0 rout of No. 7 Sabino.
"Ka'Deem is Ka'Deem. He will always surprise everybody," said CDO coach Dusty Peace, who is undefeated and the owner of a state title in his rookie campaign. "He did it here on the big stage tonight, against a quality opponent, against great athletes that play hard. He really showcased that he is the best player in the city, for sure."
That completed a perfect season for the Dorados, who went 14-0.
"(Sabino) said they were gonna hold me under 40 yards. I mean, I knew that wasn't gonna happen," said Carey. "I felt I had a bad game earlier this year against them, so I had something to prove this time."
The opening handoff of the contest went into Carey's hands and ended 25 yards later.
Next play it went straight back to Carey, for his only negative rush of the evening, a 2-yard loss. Then came the 68-yard sprint for a score and a 7-0 lead, setting the game's theme immediately.
After Sabino went three-and-out, it was more carries for Carey.
Four straight rushes went to the 5-foot-9-inch, 184-pound junior, as he totaled 50 yards in that span, capping that with a 3-yard burst for another six points. A Tilghman Harvey extra point made it 14-0 with 5:42 left in the first quarter, putting Sabino into an early hole from which it would never escape.
Even when Sabino's offense started to flow in the first half, posting a seven-play, 56-yard drive taking up nearly four minutes late in the opening quarter, the Sabercats were still unable to touch the scoreboard.
That series ended with a missed 32-yard field goal, as the momentum stayed with CDO.
On Sabino's next offensive set of downs, Dorados safety Jared Tevis blasted Sabino running back Stephen Fraser on fourth-and-one at the Sabercats' 39, forcing a fumble the CDO defensive star also recovered. Fraser was knocked out of the game on the play with a leg injury.
Carey stretched the advantage to three touchdowns with 1:36 left in the second quarter, going untouched into the end zone from 9 yards out for a 21-0 lead, a score set up by a 17-yard connection from quarterback Mike Lewis to Tevis.
Sabino's Keanu Nelson, a Stanford commit, was limited by the CDO defense, totaling just 50 yards on seven carries in the first half. Defensively, he made his mark, taking two interceptions from Lewis over the first two quarters.
He finished with 86 rushing yards. And that was about the extent of Sabino's success.
"They took the wind out of our sails early," said Nelson. "This hurts, man."
After the Sabercats were forced to punt on their first possession of the second half, Carey stretched the lead to 28-0, taking a direct snap, before turning what appeared to be a broken play into a 5-yard scoring run.
Then he went aerial for his next score, throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Josh Robbins for a 35-0 lead.
"I've been waiting for that all year," said Carey. "I told coach, I got an arm! Let me get my arm off!"
Carey's final score was on a 32-yard rush early in the fourth quarter, for a 40-0 lead.
"He's a special kid," said Sabino coach Jay Campos, about Carey. "That's probably what an NFL back looks like in high school."
Carey's 268 yards and six touchdowns are unofficial 4A state championship game records.