Basic entered Friday’s Sunrise Region semifinal against Foothill thinking its aggressive secondary could create turnovers.
The Wolves couldn’t have carried out the plan much better.
Basic intercepted three passes and forced five turnovers overall on the way to a 42-20 rout of visiting Foothill to clinch a spot in the Sunrise title game, which will serve as a Class 4A state semifinal.
Basic (11-1), which built a 35-0 lead before allowing three fourth-quarter touchdowns, will visit Del Sol (11-1) next Saturday with a trip to the state championship game on the line.
“We wanted to stop the pass and have our linebackers take care of the run,” said Basic junior cornerback Blaze Galardy, who had two interceptions. “I just didn’t want to get beat deep.”
The Wolves moved two wins away from their first state title since 1960.
“That was our goal when I took the job two years ago,” Basic coach Jeff Cahill said. “Last year, our goal was to build a program that could compete for state, and that’s what we’re doing. It’s huge for us.”
After heading to halftime behind 22-0, Foothill (6-6) committed four turnovers in the third quarter.
“We felt like we could fight back, but that made it difficult,” Falcons coach Martin Redmond said.
Foothill had two interceptions and a lost fumble amid its first five plays from scrimmage in the second half.
“It was big,” Cahill said. “We had a nice lead at halftime, and that really let us push it to where it was out of reach.”
Basic quarterback Tyler Dobbins was sick Thursday night, Cahill said, but completed 5 of 14 passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns.
Dobbins hooked up with Kelly Armistead on a 16-yard touchdown and Travis Taitano on a 7-yard scoring strike in the third quarter. Both plays followed Foothill turnovers.
“Tyler’s a tough kid, and that’s why he’s our leader,” Cahill said.
Basic opened with a 13-play scoring drive spanning 7:02 that was capped by Quinn Richardson’s 1-yard run, and the ensuing 2-point conversion gave the Wolves an 8-0 lead.
Dominic Villas’ 39-yard run down the right sideline set up Richardson’s touchdown. Villas also scored on a 47-yard run in the second quarter.
Foothill’s leading rusher, Connor Afoa, entered the game with 704 yards, but was held to 2 yards on two carries.
The Falcons were held to 28 yards of offense in the first half and 185 for the game.
“Our defense is always aggressive,” Cahill said. “I think we have one of the best defenses in the state. Tonight, we proved it.”
Villas (82 yards, one TD), Edward Villaros (43 yards, one TD) and Richardson (24 yards, two TDs) led the rushing attack for Basic, which ran for 201 yards.
Foothill’s Parker Riggin completed 18 of 29 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions. He hit Tyrel Garner (five catches, 50 yards) with 6- and 17-yard scoring strikes in the fourth quarter.
The Falcons were coming off a dramatic 27-20 upset win at Las Vegas last week.
“There’s still a lot of underclassmen on both sides of the ball,” Redmond said. “We won six games and a playoff game, and that’s something they’ll always remember.”
Contact reporter Tristan Aird at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203.In-depth high school sports coverage