No. 8 Mesquite (Div. II) at Cactus (Div. III)... - East Valley Tribune: Home

No. 8 Mesquite (Div. II) at Cactus (Div. III)...

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This one is filled with intrigue. There are no common opponents, and it’s strength (Cactus’ running game) vs. strength (Mesquite’s defense). Both teams are under the tutelage of hall-of-fame coaches (Jim Jones at Mesquite and Larry Fetkenhier at Cactus).  Add it all together and there doesn't appear to be an advantage in either direction. Mesquite (Div. II) has played a slightly more difficult schedule than Cactus (Div. III) but even that isn’t substantial, and the power rankings only judge others’ win-loss record without an “eyeball” test, so that’s a wash. Given all the relative equalities, what’s the difference? In games like these, it’s turnovers (obviously) and offense. Both teams are run-heavy, but Cactus has a few more options both running and passing. Then again, Mesquite’s defense has pitched back-to-back shutouts against Corona del Sol and Westwood. Is Cactus’ offense better than Westwood? Can Cactus stop Paul Perry? Deciding for yourself appears to be the only way to answer this toss-up...

Prediction: Mesquite 17, Cactus 13

-- Mark Heller

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