Salpointe Catholic’s football team is in the state semifinals for the second straight season and has the spotlight all to itself this week.
Top-seeded Salpointe will be the only local team in action this week when it takes on No. 12 Glendale Deer Valley at Marana High School on Friday night at 7, with a trip to the Division II state championship on the line.
The Lancers (12-0) are trying to reach the state final for the first time since 1991 and for the first time under longtime coach Dennis Bene.
While most teams have had their ups and downs, Salpointe has been up all year. Here’s a look back at three of its biggest wins:
Liberty 7 (Henderson, Nev.)
Date: Aug. 24
Summary: Salpointe jumped out to a quick 28-0 lead in its season opener, a nationally televised game as part of the Sollenberger Classic in Las Vegas. The Lancers led 42-0 at the half and didn’t give up any points until late in the fourth quarter.
Big number: 4. Senior quarterback Andrew Cota threw four touchdowns in the first quarter alone. He finished with five passing scores and one on the ground.
Star of the game: Senior Kaelin Deboskie, an Arizona Wildcats commit, had five catches for 121 yards and three TDs in his first game with Salpointe.
Salpointe 40, Tempe Marcos de Niza 7
Date: Sept. 27
Summary: The Lancers again dominated from the start, in a game that figured to be a possible preview of the state championship. However, the No. 6 Padres lost 35-21 to third-seeded Scottsdale Chaparral in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Big number: 53.3. Marcos de Niza entered the game undefeated and averaging 53.3 points in its first four games, but didn’t score until the fourth quarter.
Star of the game: Arizona Wildcats commit Cameron Denson shined on both sides of the ball. In addition to an interception, Denson had six catches for 137 yards and two scores, including a 92-yard touchdown reception.
Salpointe 45, Peoria Liberty 14
Date: Nov. 15
Summary: Last week’s playoff win was arguably the Lancers’ best so far this season. Salpointe was up 45-0 and had the game locked up before the visiting Lions found the end zone midway through the final quarter in the quarterfinal contest.
Big number: 118. Senior Jay Williams led the team with 118 yards rushing on just eight carries and had scoring runs of 45 and 40 yards.
Star of the game: Cota used both his arm and his legs to get the job done. He completed 13 of 23 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for 101 yards and a pair of scores on 13 carries.