LAS VEGAS – Tucson Salpointe Catholic’s football team features two bolts of lightning in seniors Kaelin Deboskie and Cameron Denson.
Their electrifying performances on Saturday night (Aug. 25) left Henderson (Nev.) Liberty in a smoking pile of rubble and served notice to opponents back home in Arizona that the Lancers are going to be a force in Division II.
Deboskie caught five passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns and Denson added five catches for 119 yards and two scores as Salpointe rolled to a 48-7 victory over Liberty in the second game of the two-game Sollenberger Classic at Fertitta Field on the campus of Bishop Gorman High.
Salpointe’s win gave Arizona a sweep of the two games, after Phoenix Mountain Pointe defeated host Bishop Gorman 28-21 on Friday night (Aug. 24).
Senior quarterback Andrew Cota also played a key role for Salpointe, completing 14 of 19 passes for 265 yards and carrying the ball nine times for 68 yards.
“Kaelin – he’s dynamic. And combine Cameron with that, and what quarterback wouldn’t want to throw to them,’’ said Salpointe coach Dennis Bene.
“I was really, really pleased with the way we played because Liberty is very physical.’’
Deboskie was raised in Tucson, moved to the Dallas area and then returned to play at Salpointe this year. One older brother, Covaughn, played for Chandler Hamilton and California and another, Caleve, played at Chandler High and later Northern Arizona.
“We (Kaelin Deboskie and Denson) make a good team. We try to spread the field out as much as we can,’’ Kaelin Deboskie said. “It is difficult for defenses. We have a lot of offense.’’
Said Denson: “I guess you can call us a dynamic duo. It’s tough for teams to cover us. If you try to cover one guy, the other one is going to be open. He takes a lot of pressure off me and I do the same for him.’’
Deboskie scored on a 70-yard pass just 17 seconds into the game, and Denson hauled in a 75-yard scoring strike with 7:12 left in the first, and the race was on.
There wasn’t much that Liberty could do to stop the Salpointe offense, and the score reflected that. The clock was switched to a running clock with the Lancers leading by 42 (Arizona rules) late in the first half and that timing change remained in place until the fourth quarter, when Liberty scored its touchdown.
If it seemed that Bene knew where to throw the ball, he did because he directed the offense from the press box. This is the second year that he is doing that. After a loss to Crespi (Calif.) last year, he tried going to the press box, it worked and he has stayed there ever since, sending in plays to assistant Sean Brevaire. Both Bene and Brevaire are former Salpointe quarterbacks.
“I saw the blitzes coming and I saw the whole field. It just seems to work,’’ said Bene of his lofty perch.
Salpointe lost senior offensive lineman Breeon Auzenne to a sprained right ankle in the second half, and Bene said he is hopeful that Auzenne will be able to play next week against Tucson Sabino.
Salpointe’s defense also had a solid effort, limiting Liberty to 109 rushing yards and 100 through the air.