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Josh Eckley knew he couldn’t fail.
Ironwood Ridge LB Austin Goddard goes to sack Marcos de Niza QB Josh Eckley during the game Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 at Campo Verde high school. [Brant Clinard/ Special to Tribune]
It is not like the Marcos de Niza football team did not have success on the road since it won its first three games of the season.
Marcos de Niza's quarterback Josh Eckley looks down field while taking on Cesar Chavez Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 in Phoenix. [Jerry Burch/Special to Tribune]
Marcos de Niza's Josh Eckley,(center, carries the ball up the middle for a gain of yards while taking on Ironwood Ridge, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 in Tempe. [Jerry Burch/Special to Tribune]
Josh Eckley takes a few moments before the start of the teams home game against Ironwood Ridge from Tucson, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 in Tempe. [Jerry Burch/Special to Tribune]
Marcos de Niza quarterback Josh Eckley looks downfield for an open receiver while taking on Ironwood Ridge, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 in Tempe. [Jerry Burch/Special to Tribune]
Marcos de Niza used a big second half to overcome a sloppy and undisciplined first half to rally for a 45-27 win over Laveen Cesar Chavez in a Division II game Friday at Cesar Chavez.
Tempe Marcos de Niza scored three second-quarter touchdowns in 42 seconds to turn Friday’s defensive struggle with Notre Dame Prep into a rout.
An early bout of penalties was the only thing that could. Temporarily, impede Marcos de Niza’s offense during the Padres’ 57-6 rout of Maricopa on Friday night.
Luke Rubenzer, Saguaro: The sophomore quarterback carried the Sabercats to a last-second victory against Phoenix Thunderbird, racking up 457 yards of total offense and five touchdowns in a 43-39 come-from-behind victory. Rubenzer finished 22-of-27 for 306 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 151 yards and two touchdowns. He also played safety for Saguaro the entire second half.
Maurice Lee was the last one off the bench and into the postgame handshake line for Marcos de Niza on Friday night.
In the 2012 regular season, one game prevented Marcos de Niza from reaching perfection. In week five Tucson Ironwood Ridge came to Tempe and the Nighthawks went back to the Old Pueblo with a road win over the Padres.
Tucson Ironwood Ridge ran right up Marcos de Niza's gut and gave it a proverbial punch on its way by.
A collections of the top individual performances from Week 5 in the East Valley:
There is a sense of calm this week within the Marcos de Niza football team.
Weston Birtcher, Mountain View: He needed only 10 carries to reach 164 yards and two touchdowns in the Toros’ first win of the season.
Marcos de Niza took down Gilbert 49-7 Friday in a game that was seemingly decided just minutes in.
Paul Elvira stood on the sidelines, soaking it all in.
A lot of change can happen in a calendar year. Unless, of course, it's Chaparral and Perry. It seems even a new season couldn’t create an original script to a familiar playoff ending between the two schools.
Incredibly, this football regular season is halfway done. Here is a look at the notable teams, players and moments from the first five weeks of 2012:
Not every win has to be pretty.
With Hamilton, Brophy and Peoria Centennial still alive in the postseason, there are plenty of powerhouse programs aiming for yet another state title.
A collection of some of the best East Valley high school football performances from Friday’s quarterfinals of the 2012 playoffs:
Chaparral at Marcos de Niza