No. 4 Chaparral (Div. II) at No. 8 (Div. I) Desert Mountain - East Valley Tribune: Home

No. 4 Chaparral (Div. II) at No. 8 (Div. I) Desert Mountain

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Like Mountain Pointe-Chandler in the SE Valley, this is the monster matchup in the NE Valley. The rivalry along Shea Blvd. resumes, and after last year’s harrowing finish (Chaparral being stopped by Desert Mountain at the 1-yard line to prevent the game-tying touchdown), the ESPNU telecast and numerous other subplots (including Gary McKay transferring from Chaparral to Desert Mountain over the summer), which team can block out the distractions? Kyle Allen and Mark Andrews were relatively held in check by Chaparral’s defense last year, and though the Firebirds have shown to be vulnerable (witness the 56 points allowed in a loss to Marcos de Niza), Chaparral feels its righted the wrongs of two weeks ago. Desert Mountain’s ability to run the ball to help loosen up Chaparral’s defense and stop the Firebirds’ offense will be key here. If the Firebirds defense plays well and avoids being drawn into the emotional overreactions and outside distractions, they can sneak back down Shea Blvd. with a big win.

Prediction: Chaparral 24, Desert Mountain 21

-- Mark Heller

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