After not giving up a point in more than 96 minutes of football, Phoenix Moon Valley’s defense gave up a 75-yard touchdown to Higley running back Chris Campbell just 48 seconds into Friday night’s game.
Campbell went on to rush for 202 yards on 18 carries as host Higley (3-2) defeated Moon Valley (3-2) 21-16 in a 4A nonregion game.
“I saw a hole and took it all the way down,” Campbell said.
Campbell also scored on a 91-yard run on his first carry of the third quarter.
The Knights completed only two passes, but one of those two proved to be the decisive play in the game.
Holding on to a 14-10 fourth-quarter lead, Higley quarterback J.P. Beall hit R.J. Arriaga on a 34-yard touchdown pass to give the Knights a 21-10 lead with 6:54 left in the game.
Moon Valley’s ensuing drive ended on a 2-yard touchdown run by Cord Deal, making the score 21-16.
Unable to run out the clock, Beall executed a quick punt that pinned the Rockets at their own 6-yard-line with 1:16 left.
Moon Valley ran 11 plays and moved the ball to the Higley 22-yard-line before a fourth-down pass from quarterback Marshall Bailey flew over his receiver’s head in the end zone with 0.8 seconds on the clock.
“They’re that type of team,” Higley coach Jim Beall said. “They’ve been a big-play team all year.”
As spectacular as Campbell was on his long runs, he also uncharacteristically lost two fumbles. His first fumble led to the Rockets’ first score of the game, which tied the score 7-7 in the first quarter.
“He never does that,” Beall said. “He always secures the ball pretty well. It was just one of those nights.”
Campbell’s second fumble was also deep in Knights territory, but teammate Joey Speltz blocked a Moon Valley field-goal attempt that would have brought the Rockets within one point.
“I was thinking too much,” Campbell said.
Overall, the Knights had 336 rushing yards. Fullback Emmanuel Caro Del Castillo contributed 100 yards on just five carries.
Moon Valley came in having posted two straight shutouts in wins over Glendale Raymond S. Kellis and Phoenix Sunnyslope.