One year ago in the 1A State Championship, the Williams High School Vikings watched Bagdad High School celebrate. The Bagdad Sultans defeated Williams 60-6 on that night.
2017 was going to be different.
"We stressed all year, we do not want to leave this place like we did last year. Our hearts were broken," Williams Head Coach Jeff Brownlee said.
It was a new team at Maricopa High School on Friday, November 10 for the 1A State Championship. Williams was lead by running back Chance Pearson. The sophomore ran for over 200 yards and a touchdown as Williams rolled to a 57-14 victory over the Superior Panthers.
Senior running back Daniel Lopez, who added two touchdowns in the victory, said after the game. "Last year, we came up short. But, we got it done this year. That's all that matters."
Williams turnovers kept the game close. The teams went into the locker room at halftime with Williams leading by only two points at 16-14. That was as close as it would come. The Vikings came back onto the field and scored three touchdowns to go up 35-14.
However, Superior fought back. The Panthers put together a drive in the third quarter looking to score. That's when linebacker senior Tate Grantham went up in the air and made a one-handed interception - crushing any hopes of a Panther comeback.
Surrounded by his cheering teammates after the game, Grantham said, "I've never been more excited in my life. I've been dreaming about this since I was a little kid,"