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Scoreboards are shorting out. Schools are running out of replacement light bulbs. Stat keepers and scoreboard operators are getting carpal tunnel and blurred vision trying to watch and write seemingly every two seconds while the big board changes seemingly every two minutes.
Outlook: Finding an acceptable defense has been quite the struggle for third-year Cactus Shadows coach Greg Davis. The team gave up 42.1 points in 2011 and 32.2 last year, which, not surprisingly, culminated in a 6-14 record over that span. Now that standout quarterback Bryce Kinsler has moved on, outscoring opponents will be even tougher, so defensive improvement seems imperative to find success.
All-Tribune First Team Offense
The football playoff brackets were unveiled Saturday morning. Here is a crash course on what to expect from the top three divisions in the next four weeks as playoff-mania hits full tilt:
A collection of top East Valley performances from Week 10:
Paradise Valley knew Cactus Shadows’ quarterback, Bryce Kinsler, was closing in on the Class 4A career passing yardage record, but the Trojans weren’t about to hand it to him on their field.
The Hamilton football team is rolling, now up to six consecutive victories after an 0-2 start. The defense has allowed the second-fewest points in Division I and the Huskies are once again ranked No. 1 after recent wins over Desert Ridge, Chandler and Desert Vista.
Let others figure out the playoff system, because all Notre Dame wants to do right now is play football.
On a night the Horizon student body welcomed in a new Homecoming king and queen, senior return man Ryan Neel proved to be true royalty in Horizon’s 24-6 victory over Cactus Shadows on Friday night.
Poston Butte’s Dustin French and Robert Herrera each scored touchdown runs, as the Broncos held on to narrowly defeat host Coolidge 13-12 on Friday, thanks in-part to a Bears missed extra point and failed two-point conversion.
Cactus Shadows signal-caller Bryce Kinsler set a state record by throwing for 639 yards in a 63-49 loss to Precott last Friday. Desert Mountain quarterback Kyle Allen and Red Mountain’s Mason Thorman tied a 5A record with six touchdown passes apiece. Tempe’s Emanuel Gant and Paradise Valley’s Ryan Finley each threw five touchdowns apiece. Several state records are in jeopardy if these signal-callers continue on this torrid pace.
In the new age of offensive explosiveness, state records are becoming more commonplace.
A collections of the top individual performances from Week 5 in the East Valley:
Pinnacle running back Josh Hoekstra rushed 19 times for 290 yards and three touchdowns to break the Pioneers' school record for most rushing yards in a game in a 43-20 victory over visiting Cactus Shadows on Friday.
Players to Watch
The beauty of high school football is the quick rise of previously anonymous players. Just ask former Dobson running back T.J. Thomas, an unknown at the start of 2011 who turned a monster senior campaign into a scholarship to Fresno State. Additionally, players like Marcos de Niza’s Priest Willis and Desert Mountain’s Mark Andrews were relative unknowns before announcing themselves in a big way in 2011.
Cactus Shadows Falcons
All-Tribune First Team Offense
Here are some of the best performances from the East Valley in Week 9:
In a game that featured 13 touchdowns and 1,235 yards of total offense, the game between Paradise Valley and Cactus Shadows was decided by a defensive play.
Last year, it was former Mountain View quarterback Max Hall to wind his way from Toro Nation to the NFL, a cup-of-coffee stint with the Arizona Cardinals.
He let a few balls through on defense, and his team struggled.
Here are the top storylines lines heading into the eighth week of the season:
So Hamilton won again, huh? Yawn. Despite a scare from Chandler two weeks ago, the top-ranked Huskies continue to assert their dominance on the rest of Division I, with Desert Vista the latest victim.
Horizon used a pair of interceptions that were returned for touchdowns to seize a big lead early and beat Cactus Shadows, 49-15, Thursday night in Division II, Section III action.