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Campo Verde's Luke Pineda throws a screen pass during the quarterfinal game at Mesquite High School in Gilbert, Friday, Nov 15, 2013. [Greg Herriman / Special to Tribune]
Campo Verde's Luke Pineda escapes the rush from Mesquite's Pesai Puloto during their quarterfinal game at Mesquite High School in Gilbert, Friday, Nov 15, 2013. [Greg Herriman / Special to Tribune]
Campo Verde's Luke Pineda scrambles through the Mesquite defense during their quarterfinal game at Mesquite High School in Gilbert, Friday, Nov 15, 2013. [Greg Herriman / Special to Tribune]
Mesquite's Pesai Pulotu clobbers Campo Verde's Luke PIneda just as he throws the ball during their quarterfinal playoff game at Mesquite High School, Friday, Nov 15, 2013. [Greg Herriman / Special to Tribune]
It appeared recent history would repeat itself when Mesquite ran off to a 17-0 lead against Campo Verde after the end of the first 24 minutes in the quarterfinal matchup of Friday night. Unfortunately for Mesquite, Campo Verde didn’t stay down this time, and came close to pulling off the comeback and the upset before ultimately ceding to the home team, 26-20.
These matchups are inevitable. Whether sooner or later, a second helping is almost always required for a football team to play on.
No. 7 Campo Verde survived a scare from No. 10 Tucson Sahuaro in the first round of the Division II playoffs on Friday night, a 34-21 Coyotes' victory in a game much closer than the final score might indicate.
Campo Verde quarterback Luke Pineda looks up field for an open receiver during their game against Mesquite Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 in Gilbert. [Brant Clinard/ Special to the Tribune]
On a fall night that turned cold in a hurry, the Mesquite High School offense and defense remained as hot as Hades in the Wildcats' 30-0 senior-night win against Campo Verde on Friday night.
Raise your hand if, in August, Mesquite vs. Campo Verde was atop your list of premier matchups heading into the playoffs; that this game would decide a section championship and have a significant impact on earning home playoff games?
It was homecoming at Campo Verde Friday night and there was a bit of an upset. It was not on the field – it was at halftime, as quarterback Luke Pineda lost out on homecoming king to senior kicker Alex Wells.
Campo Verde quarterback Luke Pineda threw for two touchdowns and ran for three more to lead the Coyotes to a 48-13 drubbing of host Coconino.
Westwood linebacker Devon Shirrod (21) sacks Campo Verde quarterback Luke Pineda (9) during the fourth quarter of the game at Westwood, Friday, October 11, 2013. [James McGuire/ Special to Tribune]
Campo Verde quarter back Luke Pineda (9) rolls out and completes a pass at Westwood High School, Friday, October 11, 2013. [James McGuire/ Special to Tribune]
Westwood linebacker Adam Astorga (14) wraps up Campo Verde quarterback Luke Pineda (9), Friday, October 11, 2013. [James McGuire/ Special to Tribune]
Campo Verde at Mesquite: An unexpected (especially in Mesquite’s case) but delicious matchup between these Gilbert schools, both sitting in the top 8 in Division II. In many ways they’re identical: They’re going to run the ball, use it to set up the pass, play defense and hit hard. It’s going to be physical and emotional. The key will be whether one team can properly handle those emotions and adrenaline, and which team is able to succeed offensively against the other. Both Mesquite QB Payton Haslam and Campo Verde QB Luke Pineda have been extremely efficient passing and running the ball. Pineda is completing 70 percent of his passes for 19 touchdowns and zero (yes, zero) interceptions this season. Both teams have running backs (Mesquite’s Paul Perry and Campo Verde’s Gabe Ogbonnaya) who’ve been forces most of the season. Mesquite’s offensive line has been excellent. So, too, has Campo Verde’s defensive line. Even common opponents have yielded similar results in those handful of occasions. The back-and-forth here could go on and on. It’s going to be a good, low-scoring, physical night. Mesquite (No. 3 seed) will get two home games in the playoffs if it wins here to secure a top-four seed (not bad after a 2-8 record in 2012). If Campo Verde (No. 7) loses, it puts the Coyotes into the “unknown” whether they can hang on to a No. 8 seed and get one home game. Pick your preference.
Prediction: Mesquite 24, Campo Verde 21
Levi Sterling, Hamilton (pictured): 45-yard INT return for TD
Richard Haywood, Desert Vista: 75-yard KO return for TD
Sean Eremia, Desert Ridge: 2 INT
Luke Pineda, Campo Verde: 2 TD passes, 3 rush TD
Josh Eckley, Marcos de Niza: 154 yards passing, TD, 2 rush TD
Taren Morrison, Desert Ridge: 70 yards rushing, 72 yards rec., 2 TD
Brock Westover, Mountain View: 64 yards rushing, 84 yards rec., 2 TD
Noah Miller, Highland: GW 27-yard FG
J.T. Nettleton, Saguaro: 3 TD rec., 2 INT
Darius Williams, Williams Field: 88-yard INT return
Mountain Pointe defense: School-record 4th shutout of season
Logan Johns, Higley: 4 tackles for loss, sack
Antonio Marchica, Cactus Shadows: 3 TD runs
The team that wins the turnover battle usually wins the game. It proved true Friday night as Campo Verde beat Westwood, 28-14.
When Max Ragsdale left Apache Junction to start the Campo Verde football program five years ago, he was well aware of the geographical complexities awaiting him.
Dalton Sneed, Horizon (pictured): 363 yards, 7 TD
Kyle Allen, Desert Mountain: 350 yards, 2 TD
Luke Rubenzer, Saguaro: 327 yards, 3 TD, TD run
John Clark, Mountain View: 293 yards, 4 TD
Emanuel Gant, Tempe: 272 yards, 5 TD
Tyler Bloom, Higley: 270 yards, 4 TD
Kyle Johnson, Seton Catholic: 249 yards, 5 TD, 2 TD runs
Jeddediah Fagg, Williams Field: 210 yards, 3 TD
Peter Campbell, Arcadia: 205 yards, 2 TD
Zach Werlinger, Basha: 200 yards, 2 TD, TD run
Daniel Bridge-Gadd, Paradise Valley: 198 yards, 3 TD
Luke Pineda, Campo Verde: 160 yards, 2 TD, TD run
Chandler Fox, Chaparral: 149 yards, 3 TD
Campo Verde's Luke Pineda hands off the football to Gabriel Ogbonnaya during their game at Campo Verde in Gilbert on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. [Greg Herriman / Special to Tribune]
Campo Verde's Luke Pineda throws another completion during their game against Marcos de Niza, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. [Greg Herriman / Special to Tribune]
Campo Verde's Luke Pineda throws over the middle during their game against Marcos de Niza, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. [Greg Herriman / Special to Tribune]
Emanuel Gant, Tempe: 422 yards, 4 TD
Brian Lewerke, Pinnacle: 384 yards, 5 TD
Josh Eckley, Marcos de Niza: 373 yards, 2 TD; 86 yards rushing; 2 TD
Daniel Bridge-Gadd, Paradise Valley: 367 yards, 5 TD
Chandler Fox, Chaparral: 333 yards, 3 TD
Kyle Allen, Desert Mountain: 296 yards, 4 TD
Luke Pineda, Campo Verde (pictured): 280 yards, 4 TD, TD rush
Dalton Sneed, Horizon: 260 yards, 5 TD
Russell Corriveau, Poston Butte: 243 yards, TD
John Clark, Mountain View: 242 yards, 2 TD
Brandon Haagsma, Valley Christian: 241 yards, 3 TD
Brian Woodward, Brophy: 234 yards, 4 TD
Kyle Johnson, Seton Catholic: 218 yards, 5 TD
Payton Haslam, Mesquite: 155 yards, 3 TD