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Arizona football signee powers Scottsdale Chaparral to state baseball title

Chaparral's Dylan Cozens rounds the bases after hitting a home run to win the state Division I title. Photo by Tom Tingle/The Republic

Arizona football signee Dylan Cozens capped a superb baseball season by hitting a walk-off home run Tuesday night to lift Scottsdale Chaparral High School to the Division I state championship.

Cozens’ state-leading 19th-home run of the year gave Chaparral a 5-3 win over Phoenix Brophy Prep.

The left-handed hitting Cozens (6-5, 235) shattered the school single-season record for home runs, previously held by major-leaguer Paul Konerko (13).

This was Cozens’ first season of playing baseball at Chaparral, after being kicked off the Scottsdale Desert Mountain team last spring.

“Dylan has been a great kid and awesome young man,” Chaparral coach Sam Messina told the Arizona Republic last month. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do in the last year.”

Cozens, who hadn’t played football before his senior season at Chaparral, became a fast-rising standout at defensive end. He had 7.5 sacks for the Class 5A-II state champs, and chose Arizona on Signing Day over Boise State and Washington.

He said at that time that he also wanted to play baseball at Arizona, although it will be interesting to see if he is lured to professional baseball this summer after the June draft.

On Signing Day, UA football coach Rich Rodriguez said that Cozens “was one of the best defensive ends we saw this year in high school, period.”

“I think he has a great upside,” Rodriguez added. “He’s a tough guy; he’s athletic. … He’s the kind of football player I think we can build a program around from a standpoint of that he has a high motor and loves the game.

“We’re just really excited about Dylan. He’s a guy that can rush the passer and he’s still learning the game.”

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