The sideline cleared, as Salpointe Catholic stormed the field. In celebration.
Cameron Denson was noticeably missing from the mosh pit.
Instead, he ran to midfield, and stood at the center of Arizona’s Block A.
He stood straight up, he raised his arms, he closed his eyes. He thought of his cousin, Jamie, who passed away last month.
“I did it for my cousin,” Denson said. “I played for my team, for my family and all the fans because we wanted to make history and we finally did it.
Denson did it.
Ten seconds later, Kaelin Deboskie joined him at the “A”.
“I don’t even have words to describe how I feel right now,” Deboskie said. “I’m just glad to be on this turf.”
Deboskie did it.
The rest of the Lancers soon joined them.
After 60-plus years, Salpointe won its first-ever state title. It beat Scottsdale Chaparral 46-20, and did it at Arizona Stadium.
Salpointe Catholic did it.
“We have that confidence, that belief you need to be a champion,” said Salpointe coach Dennis Bene. “There were so many great players and coaches that made this program what it is today.”
Denson and Deboskie certainly among them.
For the first time this season, Salpointe trailed an opponent. That lasted six minutes, when Deboskie scored on a 7-yard pass.
Then 1:25 later the 5-foot-9-inch Deboskie outjumped and outmuscled two defenders for a 16-yard scoring pass. Salpointe led 12-6.
Deboskie has been a star for the Lancers. After transferring from Texas last year, he had 964 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns.
“I originally wanted to stay in Texas and play Texas football,” he said, “but coming back here I knew me and Cameron could win state. The moment we stepped on the field today, I knew I made the right choice.”
Deboskie is a star. Friday, one star shone brighter.
It always has.
It ran pretty fast, too.
The first time Denson touched the ball, he caught an Andrew Cota pass and took it 98 yards to the house.
It was his 30th touchdown of the season.
“Tyler Whiley (Chaparral’s star corner and ASU commit) gave me off coverage, I broke on my slant. It was originally to Kaelin, but I ran in front of it and I got it.
“Then,” he added, “it was just a touchdown from there.”
So was the 84-yard kick return for a score.
And the one-handed, 34-yard touchdown grab.
He nearly had a fourth one, too.
Deboskie intercepted a pass by Sean Paul Brophy, Chaparral’s quarterback, at Salpointe’s 20-yard line. He lateraled it back to Denson, although it bounced on the ground on the way.
“That’s great athletes improvising,” said Bene. “It gives me a heart attack.”
Denson scooped it up, cut across the field at the 50-yard line, stiff-armed a defender at Chaparral’s 30 and got it to the 10 before he was finally tracked down.
By the end of the night, he had 303 total yards and three touchdowns.
He finishes the season with 73 catches, 1,453 yards and 32 total touchdowns, all single-season Salpointe records.
By the end of his Lancer career, he’s Salpointe’s all-time leader in catches, yards and total touchdowns.
“Cameron’s been here with me for four years and he’s so special,” Bene said. “He’s so dynamic.”
Deboskie: “It’s a crazy experience playing with him. He takes the heat off me, I take the heat off him, and it just works.”
It sure does.
For that, Cameron Denson gets an “A”.