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As much as No. 4-seeded Desert Ridge is trying the “lie in the weeds” approach during these football playoffs – after all, everyone’s talking about No. 1 Mountain Pointe, No. 2 Chandler and No. 3 Hamilton – it might not last.
Desert Ridge's running game couldn't be slowed by Skyline this week as the Jaguars cruised to a 42-19 victory. Taren Morrison continues to be one of the East Valley's best tailbacks, while Justin Irby (pictured) and Danny Siamau give the team great depth at the position. The Jaguars stay at No. 2 in the rankings with the easy win.
Desert Ridge running back Danny Siamau #20 ducks in behind offensive lineman Justin Leeper #75 as he leads the way for a touchdown against Sandra Day O'Connor during the second quarter of their Division I football game on Thursday, September 12, 2013. [Ralph Freso/ Special to Tribune]
There couldn’t be a more perfect game for a sophomore to get his first varsity start at quarterback.
If you have Desert Ridge running back Taren Morrison on your Arizona high school fantasy football team, you had a good night.
Carmel Valley, Calif. - At halftime, things looked bleak for Desert Ridge.
The Jaguars made the state semifinals for a third straight time a season ago and were tied with Hamilton in the second half before succumbing. Quarterback Tarek Morrison (1,404 yards rushing, 861 yards passing, 27 TD) is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered against Avondale Westview in the quarterfinals, and it may take him some time to get up to speed. Running backs Taren Morrison and Danny Siamau should carry the load offensively, and Desert Ridge may be leaning on its defense early.
The Jaguars return leading tackler Amoni Itaaehau, defensive back Nathaniel Rodriguez and defensive lineman Vita Taifu to a unit which has the potential to be one of the state’s best. Desert Ridge is looking well-rounded and ready to contend once again.
Outlook: Desert Ridge has gotten a little lost in the preseason chatter of the top-flight Division I teams, but make no mistake about it, the Jaguars are squarely in the mix. This is the only program aside from Hamilton to make the Division I semifinals each of the past three seasons and a fourth appearance is very much there for the taking.
There seems to be a clear consensus about the top two football teams in Division I heading into the season.
A look at the top performances from the weekend's high school football state semifinals:
During what should be this most wonderful time of year for teams fortunate enough to still be playing.
Desert Ridge did what it needed to do to beat visiting Valley Vista in the opening round of the Division I playoffs Friday.