Never underestimate the heart of a champion.
Facing a 14-point fourth quarter deficit the Mesquite Wildcats showed plenty of old fashion moxie coming back in the closing seconds to defeat Cactus 39-38 to claim their second consecutive 4A State Championship Friday night at Highland High School.
Twice as nice! @mesqwildcatFB goes back-2-back ➡️ ?- Wildcats take 4A State Championship once again in 39-38 thriller over Cactus. #FridayNight360AZ pic.twitter.com/BrPFM6RZgJ
— Eric Sorenson (@EricSports360AZ) December 12, 2020
Senior quarterback and Oregon commit Ty Thompson showed why he’s a five-star talent spearheading the comeback with fellow senior, wide receiver Eric Lira who transferred this past off-season from Central.
The two connected with 17 seconds remaining to pull the Wildcats (9-1) to 38-37 and moments later Thompson spotted Lira in the front part of the end zone on the go-ahead two-point conversion which eventually sealed the win.
The Cobras (8-3) rushing attack, led by speedy Damian Jiles’ three first half touchdowns, seemed to wear down the Wildcats’ defense but the defending champions forced a punt midway through the fourth quarter trailing 38-31 moments before Thompson marched the offense down the field for the win.
“Never, not once,” Thompson said without hesitation to Sports360AZ.com when asked if he ever thought the outcome was in doubt. “We came out of the locker room at halftime and we knew we had our stuff and we were going to go down and score and make plays. We did just that.”
Thompson unofficially finished 26-40 for 329 yards and five total touchdowns. Lira reeled in 16 of those completions for 255 yards and three touchdowns, as well as the championship-clinching conversion.