VX Dream Team: 1996 Tempe vs. 1995 St. Mary's - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

VX Dream Team: 1996 Tempe vs. 1995 St. Mary's

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009 11:25 pm | Updated: 2:24 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

You decide who advances in the Varsity Xtra Dream Team bracket by clicking here and voting in our online poll. You'll need to register once in order to vote for all the games in the tournament (your same sign-on will also allow you to enter our pro football pick em contest).

Voting for the first round of games of the Dream Team tournament runs through Monday at 10 a.m.

Here's a look at the two opponents:

1995 ST. MARY'S

Record: 14-0

Coach: Pat Farell

Top players: Quarterback Ryan Kealy (2,682 yards passing and 41 touchdowns); receiver Tariq McDonald (75 receptions for 1,192 yards and 20 TDs); kicker Jim Sanson (150 points, including 11 TDs -- seven via pass and four via rush).

Championship game: St. Mary's 33, Horizon 7

Season recap: This team was as complete as any St. Mary's team, and the best Farrell ever coached at the school. The Knights were loaded on offense and defense and had an outstanding kicking game. St. Mary's posted six shutouts, outscored opponents 550-75 and had arguably the best passing quarterback in state history. Kealy completed 67 percent of his passes in his career, which still ranks him nationally. In 1995 he was intercepted just three times. The Knights piled up 5,340 yards of offense. St. Mary's had one close game. -- in the state quarterfinals against Westwood. St. Mary's was clinging to a 19-13 lead with a few minutes left and made a stop on the Warriors inside the St. Mary's 10. The Knights, their forte the passing game, managed to gain three first downs running the ball to run out the clock and preserve the victory. In the title game, Kealy closed out his career tossing four TD passes (two to McDonald) and the Knights avenged a heart-breaking loss from the year before to Horizon.


Record: 14-0

Coach: Tim McBurney

Top players: Quarterback Todd Mortensen (2,447 yards passing and 32 touchdowns); receiver Justin Taplin (75 catches for 1,298 yards and 16 TDs); running back James Shaw (1,348 yards rushing); defensive tackle Michael Tooa (led the team in defensive points and sacks); linebacker Mike Washington; and safety Dave Bohn.

Championship game: Tempe 20, Ironwood 17 (overtime)

Season recap: The Buffaloes were overpowering at times, and definitely clutch when it mattered. They won four games in the regular season by a touchdown or less. In the postseason, three of their four wins came by a touchdown or less (quarterfinals through title game). The 14 wins remain the most in school history. Their total offense of 4,904 yards is also a school record. Mortensen owns many school passing records, including a couple formerly held by his father, Fred. Taplin also rewrote the receiving record book in many categories, helped by being a four-year starter. It seemed only fitting that Mortensen and Taplin starred in their varsity finale. Mortensen threw three TD passes in the game, including the game-winner in overtime to Taplin.

  • Discuss


VarsityXtra on Facebook


VarsityXtra on Twitter


Subscribe to VarsityXtra via RSS

RSS Feeds

Your Az Jobs

Arizona HS Football Leaders

Arizona HS Volleyball Leaders

[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]