Arizona and Arizona State will take the field Saturday in Tempe in a rivalry game featuring two dual-threat quarterbacks.
But Khalil Tate and Manny Wilkins have nothing on Pusch Ridge Christian’s Christian Fetsis, who will play for the Class 3A state championship that night in nearby Gilbert.
No quarterback in the state, at any level, can top Fetsis for balance. In 13 games this year, the senior has rushed for 1,168 yards … and passed for 1,151 yards. He has 16 touchdowns on the ground … and 15 through the air.
Fetsis is a main reason why top-seeded Pusch Ridge enters Saturday’s game against third-seeded Queen Creek Casteel as a favorite to win its second state title in three years.
The Star talked to Fetsis this week about the Lions’ run-heavy offense, Saturday’s championship and the relationship between coaches and players. Here’s what he said:
You’re on the brink of a second state title in three years, how do you put this season into words?
A: “It’s been an incredible season so far going undefeated and this has been our dream as seniors since we were in the fifth grade since we started playing together. We came close to an undefeated season in 2015, won that championship that year as sophomores. Now being at the front of the pack, leading the team to a championship is an awesome feeling.”
You guys run a very simple, triple-option, zone-read offense. How is it so successful?
A: “For the option game, we love to run the ball and there’s so few teams in Arizona that run our style of offense, it’s just so hard to prepare for. Everyone’s running the spread, everyone’s throwing the ball a ton so what we do is very unconventional. Our defense is so used to the spread, it’s pretty easy for us to adapt to that. But trying to prepare for our offense every week is a handful.”
Which quarterback did you idolize growing up?
A: “That’s a tough one. I’d say Vince Young, Michael Vick, the running quarterbacks.”
How much does head coach Jerry Harris mean to you as a football player?
A: “Aside from my own father, he’s another father figure to me. The way he leads the team, the way he coaches us, he loves us like sons. And I feel that way with all of my coaches. They’ll do anything for us. They’re trying to teach us to become men so I really look up to him.”
What’s your message to your team before the state championship game?
A: “We just want to give it our all. We’re going to leave every ounce of our energy on the field and we’re leaving the results up to God. My message to the seniors is enjoy it, leave your hearts out there, play for each other, play for the coaches, parents and God. We’re giving it up to him for this last week. This is the last time we’re walking on the field together.”