An awful week for Phoenix Desert Vista somehow managed to get a little worse.
During the same week the team learned it will be without standout lineman/running back Devon Kennard for the rest of the season, the Thunder will also be without two-way starter Conner Wilson tonight because of a separated shoulder.
Thunder coach Dan Hinds said the team hopes Wilson will return to the lineup in the next week or two.
Widely viewed as the strongest player on the team, Wilson plays center and defensive tackle.
The senior was originally injured during the season opener against Gilbert.
He fought through the pain and played the whole game against both Mesa and Chandler, but the Thunder want to try and heal him with rest instead of constantly trying to manage the pain on a weekly basis.
Hinds hadn’t determined Thursday who will start in place of Kennard or Wilson against Gilbert Mesquite, and the Thunder could use a rotation of players instead.
The Dons could be without their fastest offensive weapon tonight when they host Glendale Raymond S. Kellis. Senior Kaylin Ashley, who has touchdown runs of 31, 49 and 16 yards and scoring kickoff returns of 93 and 62 yards, twisted his ankle in last week’s victory at Phoenix Greenway. Coach B.J. Pasquel said Ashley will be a game-time decision.
Mesquite’s two-quarterback system is still intact, but its now senior Matt Westerguard and junior Caleb Roberts.
Junior Steven Hansen, who started the first two games while Westerguard mended from a hamstring injury, is out for the year with a torn ACL. Westerguard is still bothered by the hamstring problem so Roberts is now the backup.
Sophomore running back Anthony Shivers (sprained ankle) will be a game-time decision tonight against Tucson Canyon del Oro.
Shivers suffered the injury against Gilbert Higley on Sept. 12 and played on it for a half last week against Tempe, but didn’t return after intermission.
McClintock coach Mike Gibbons said Shivers is walking better this week, but keeping him out of the game might be the safer long-term plan.
“We can’t have a situation where we’re battling this every single week,” Gibbons said.
The Pumas will be short two players tonight against Queen Creek Canyon State.
Lineman Angel Deleon (knee) and running back Matt Knowlton (head, back) were injured Friday against Mesa Westwood’s junior team, but both are expected back next week.
Mesa’s Kyler Fackrell got his first varsity start at quarterback last week subbing for the injured Brody Skinner. Fackrell was 7 of 13 for 72 yards with two interceptions in the Jackrabbits’ 35-0 win over Yuma.
Fackrell could start again today against Avondale Westview, but coach Kelley Moore is taking a wait-and-see attitude based on Skinner’s health.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Mesa Desert Ridge quarterback Kevin Pantastico was named the Arizona Cardinals High School Player of the Week after completing 23 of 44 passes for a state-record 595 yards and six touchdowns, which tied the 5A record, in the Jaguars’ 43-40 loss to Mesa Red Mountain.
Staff writers Kyle Odegard and Matt Paulson contributed to this report.