Quarterback Bowen Ogata took a knee and paused for a moment, then stood up and threw his arms in the air as the Bishop Kelly crowd responded with a roar.
The Knights completed an undefeated season and claimed the 4A state championship with a 42-34 victory over Skyview on Friday night at Bronco Stadium.
It is the fourth state championship for the Knights (12-0) since 2004, and the first for head coach Tim Brennan since his return to the school three years ago.
Brennan is 150-41 with four state championships in 18 seasons at BK.
This is the best feeling Ive ever had in my life, Ogata said. Its awesome to know that were the No. 1 team in the state. Weve been working hard for three, four years some of us.
Its great. Im glad it really paid off.
Bishop Kelly trailed 14-9 at halftime, but rallied with five touchdowns in the second half.
Ogata completed 8-of-12 passes for 225 yards and three scores without an interception, and senior running back Mark Greene paved the way on the ground with 182 yards and two second-half touchdowns.
I just wanted to win, thats it. I wanted this so bad that I was willing to do just about anything for it, Greene said. I was willing to do anything for any of those guys and I knew they were willing to do anything for me. We just wanted it so bad.
The Knights showed that determination from the start.
Bishop Kelly took advantage of a 51-yard opening kickoff return by Robby Degen, which gave the Knights the ball on the Skyview 28-yard line.
Three plays later, Ogata hit Tyler Allumbaugh with a 24-yard pass in the end zone, giving BK a 6-0 lead with 9:52 left on the clock after the Knights PAT missed wide left. Allumbaugh finished with four catches for 147 yards and three touchdowns after entering the game with 254 total receiving yards and one TD.
Once we got moving a little bit on the ground, that opened up our pass game, Brennan said. Bowens such a heady kid and a smart, smart football player. He made some great plays, and Tyler Allumbaugh and the line and everybody did a great job.
Bishop Kellys final four scores took three plays or less each time, including an 80-yard run from Greene (one-play drive) and a 65-yard pass from Ogata to Allumbaugh (two-play drive).
Our kids cared about each other and they wanted to play for each other, and thats what got us to the state championship, Brennan said.
Skyview was forced to punt on its first possession of the game, but got the ball back for a second drive with 3:55 remaining in the first quarter. Two pass interference calls against the Knights kept Skyviews drive alive, and the Hawks made their way to the BK 12-yard line by the end of the first quarter.
Quarterback Anthony Marin didnt hesitate on the Hawks first play of the second quarter, scoring on a 12-yard keeper to put Skyview ahead 7-6.
A fumble recovery by defensive end Travis Haynes on BKs ensuing possession resulted in another Skyview touchdown.
This time Marin completed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Holton Hyde, and Tim Mohlke added his second PAT of the game to extend Skyviews lead to 14-6 with 5:28 to go before the half.
Conner Charles picked off a Skyview pass to give BK life late in the second quarter, but the Skyview defense kept the Knights out of the end zone and BK had to settle for a 22-yard field goal from Allumbaugh.
Bishop Kelly came out the break and held Skyview to a three-and-out on its first possession.
The Knights then scored on a 2-yard keeper by Ogata to give BK a 15-14 lead they never relinquished.
Skyview walked away from its first state championship appearance without the coveted first-place trophy, but the Hawks kept pressing to the very end. Marin who finished with 340 passing yards and four TDs hit Joe Miller with a 21-yard touchdown pass with about 1 minute remaining in the game.
The senior quarterback finishes as Skyviews single-season and career passing leader with more than 3,000 yards this season.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422