Dec. 8, 2004 - It took 11 games and one quarter of another before its defense finally buckled. After that, however, no one was going to move the ball on the Marana Broncos' Pee Wee squad.
For the first time all season a team found the green pasture of the end zone on the Marana Broncos who steam-rolled their way to the program's first ever national championship Dec. 4 in Orlando, Fla.
Last year's defending champs, the Englewood Seminoles, proved to be no match for the Broncos who handily won the national title game by a score of 30-12. The biggest shock, on an otherwise seamless run to the championship, came in the second quarter of the game against the Seminoles.
With the Broncos up 16-0, the Seminoles managed to reel off a few runs up the middle and eventually found the end zone for a touchdown.
"They were a little bummed out," said Broncos head coach Steve Karp of the team's first blemish on defense. Not long afterwards, the Seminoles took advantage of a rare Broncos lapse on defense and scored for the second time in the quarter. The Broncos only had 10 men on the field.
Clinging to a 16-12 halftime lead, Broncos coaches sat down with their players to regain their focus. The Seminoles never had a chance after that.
"That team went absolutely nowhere," said Karp of the Seminoles in the second half. "There was no way they (the Broncos) were going to let them score again."
The Broncos defense was so dominant in the second half they yielded just one first down.
KaDeem Carey scored three touchdowns and Malcolm Millner added a 35-yard scamper of his own as the Broncos routed the Seminoles. Karp's crew even had two long touchdown runs called back because of penalties.
Before the Broncos could play the Seminoles in the championships game, first they had to get through two squads from Chicago.
Both the Shabbona Saints and the Leiden Bears proved little resistance for the Broncos, who won handily 26-0 and 37-0 respectively.
In claiming its title, the Pee Wees became the first squad of the Broncos' six football teams to win on the national level in the team's 20-year history. The girls cheer program has won national championships before.
The Broncos now return to Tucson for one more game. The Pee Wees will take on the Eagles, a team from the Southeastern part of Tucson in the inaugural Dust Devil Classic Dec. 11 at Marana Middle School, 11279 W. Grier Road.
Also playing in the all-day event will be the Broncos' Midget, Junior Pee-Wee and Mitey Mite teams. Attending the bowl game will be the Lakeside Longhorns from Lakeside, Calif. who will square off against the Broncos' Mitey Mites at 8 a.m. and the Tucson Raiders' Junior Midgets at 1:15 p.m.
In other games the Broncos' Midgets, the Division II Tucson city-champs, will face the Tucson Scorpions at 3:15 p.m. while the Junior Pee-Wee's, also the Division II City Champs, will face the Tucson Wildcats. Kick-off for that game will be at 9:45 a.m.