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Skyline teammates Nate Woods, D.C. Wolf, Francisco Avitia and Logan Ruppert come out in solidarity before second half of the game against Chandler Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 in Chandler.[Brant Clinard/ Special to Tribune]
Red Mountain at Skyline: It’s the last of the Mesa schools’ round-robin tournament (which includes Desert Ridge at Mountain View this week). Thanks to Skyline’s surge this season (which likely will include a playoff spot win or lose here), this game has potential postseason implications for both schools. Red Mountain (No. 10) is trying to join Basha, Desert Mountain and Brophy has schools with a .500 record (or below) who make the top 16, thanks to brutal strength of schedules. The Lions put the hammer down on shorthanded Mountain View last week, and while the Toros being significantly hampered by injuries is a factor, so, too is the Lions’ defense and quarterback play. Both will come in handy this week against Skyline, whose leading rusher, Francisco Avitia, re-aggravated an injury last week against Mesa. Truman Tucker did an excellent job in relief (112 yards on nine carries, 66 yards receiving), but can the Coyotes stop a dual-threat QB in Caleb Murray-Thomas? The Lions best be prepared because Skyline is going to ready and are well-coached, so this won’t be like the past three of four meetings. As long as Red Mountain doesn’t turn the ball over and cuts down on penalties a little, the Lions can squeak this out. But the margin for error is nowhere near what it used to be.
Prediction: Red Mountain 24, Skyline 17
It took more than 40 minutes but Skyline got its offense in gear – despite missing its injured big guns – and just may have played itself into the postseason.
There is a saying that, no matter how it is accomplished, a win is a win.
It was a classic high school football game Friday night between two teams looking to make it into the Division l playoffs. When the dust cleared Desert Mountain won a 50-49 thriller over Skyline in a game loaded with playoff implications.
Skyline receiver Francisco Avitia scoring one of his six touchdown runs against Desert Mountain on Oct. 18, 2013.
Francisco Avitia, Skyline (pictured): 329 yards, 6 TD
Luke Quinn, Horizon: 188 yards, 3 TD
Kam’Ron Johnson, Tempe: 187 yards, TD
Paul Perry, Mesquite: 175 yards, 4 TD
Weston Barlow, Queen Creek: 165 yards, TD
Zech Gatling, Scottsdale Christian: 163 yards, TD
Truman Tucker, Skyline: 159 yards
Turrell Pietz-Noble, Mesa: 152 yards, 2 TD
Ricky Marshall, Higley: 131 yards, TD
Rajhan Meriwether, Basha: 123 yards
Elijah Castro, Chaparral: 119 yards, 3 TD
Ethan Johnson, Westwood: 118 yards, TD
Deion Warren, Desert Mountain: 100 yards
Desert Ridge defeated visiting Skyline, 42-19 on Friday for the Jaguars' sixth consecutive win for the Jaguars.
Running back Francisco Avitia (left) and defensive back Nate Woods celebrate the win over Phoenix Maryvale on Sept. 27, 2013.
Skyline stayed unbeaten Friday night celebrating homecoming with a 57-0 rout of winless Phoenix Maryvale.
Skyline improved to 4-0 on the season with a 28-7 win over Gilbert on Friday at Gilbert. The Coyotes have not had a winning season since 2008 but that streak of losing seasons appears on its way to an end as Skyline has shown balance on both sides of the ball.
All-Tribune First Team Offense
Though the final score was indicate of a relatively close game, Red Mountain had little trouble Friday night with Skyline, getting a strong defensive effort in a convincing 35-14 win.
Sometimes all you need is to simply finish what you’ve started.
Seemingly in control, having shut down the Mesa ground game and taking a 14-0 lead by halftime, Skyline looked to have its second win over a Mesa school this year.
Desert Ridge dominated Skyline on both offense and defense Friday as they rolled to an easy 56-13 win.
A collection of the best individual performances from Week 4 in the East Valley:
In a matchup of near-mirror-image offenses, Skyline’s methodical run game was able to convert a few first-half possessions into scores. Dobson’s pound-it-between-the-tackles system wasn’t.
It took Mountain View until the second quarter to find a spark in their offense, but once it did, Skyline couldn't answer.