This week's prep football capsules - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

This week's prep football capsules

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Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2008 12:24 pm | Updated: 11:35 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Here's a look at this week's matchups. All games are Friday unless noted.


Chandler (5-2) at Mesquite (2-5)

Time: 7 p.m., Thursday

Address: 500 S. McQueen Road, Gilbert

Key matchup: Mesquite offense vs. Chandler defense. Wildcats were doubled in number of plays run last week vs. Gilbert. Have to play keep-away vs. Wolves.

Key stat: Chandler has nine turnovers in its two losses.

The intrigue: Six wins usually equals a playoff berth. With Gilbert and Hamilton looming the last two weeks, the Wolves want a win this week to guarantee they get there.

Gilbert (6-2) at Highland (4-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 4301 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert

Key matchup: Mental approaches may be key to this one. Gilbert trying to win 309 for coach Jesse Parker and Highland trying to prevent it on their turf.

Key stat: Highland had 96 yards of offense last week. Gilbert had 424.

The intrigue: Highland has beaten Gilbert just once in last five seasons (21-20 in 2006). The Hawks may need to run the table the next three weeks to make playoffs (Gilbert, Pinnacle and Mesquite).

Central (1-6) at Mesa (3-4)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1630 E. Southern Ave., Mesa

Key matchup: Mesa must keep its offense going for the stretch run and a shot at the playoffs.

Key stat: Mesa has scored 27 points in its four losses; 127 in its three wins.

The intrigue: Can Mesa’s feast or famine offense feast for a second week in a row.

Westwood (1-7) at Mountain View (7-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 2700 E. Brown Road, Mesa

Key matchup: The Westwood ground game must produce like Basha did last week vs. Mountain View.

Key stat: Mountain View has turned the ball over just five times in seven games.

The intrigue: Mountain View has steamrolled all sub-.500 opponents so far. Can Warriors disrupt that trend?

Dobson (4-4) at Red Mountain (4-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 7301 E. Brown Road, Mesa

Key matchup: The Dobson rushing game ground to a halt last week and must return to form if it is to challenge the Mountain Lions.

Key stat: Red Mountain running back Derek Molina has four 100-yard rushing games in six starts this season.

The intrigue: Six wins are what both teams need to make the playoffs. The winner here has the best path to that mark.

Mountain Pointe (2-5) at Corona del Sol (7-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1001 E. Knox Road, Tempe

Key matchup: Corona del Sol isn’t fancy, but the Aztecs have been terrific at running the ball. Can Mountain Pointe figure out a way to stop Michael Lange?

Key stat: Corona del Sol was on the receiving end of six turnovers last week against Chandler.

The intrigue: ‘Tis the beginning of Central Region play, and though the Aztecs are heavy favorites, the region has almost always come down to the final week.

Brophy (5-4) at St. Mary’s (3-4)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1201 W. Thomas Road (Phoenix College)

Key matchup: St. Mary’s has a tall task ahead in trying to stop Brophy’s running game, led by Max Leonesio and an offensive line that has found a groove the past couple weeks.

Key stat: It’s the 51st meeting between the two private schools.

The intrigue: Until whipping Maryvale last week, the Knights had struggled — all part of a long process of trying to close the gap between themselves and the neighboring rival. The results haven’t been there in recent years, but the atmosphere is.

Mountain Ridge (6-1) at Desert Mountain (4-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 12575 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale

Key matchup: Turnovers haven’t helped Desert Mountain’s defense, but the Wolves must get themselves together again fast against Mountain Ridge quarterback Kevin Yost, who’s approaching 1,100 yards with 11 TD to four interceptions.

Key stat: Mountain Ridge is 4-0 on the road this season.

The intrigue: Desert Mountain still has a couple weeks to make a good showing and slip into the playoffs, but the Wolves will need to win a region game for the first time since 2000 to do so, and this one would go a long way.


Horizon (1-6, 0-1) at Skyline (5-2, 1-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 845 S Crismon Road, Mesa

Key matchup: Can Horizon slow the Skyline running game down? The Huskies gave up 350 rushing yards to Marcos de Niza last week, and the Coyotes have a better ground attack.

Key stat: Horizon quarterback Ryan Stanford has the second highest completion percentage in the 5A-II Pima Region (at nearly 60 percent), but also leads the region with 12 interceptions.

The intrigue: Skyline put itself right back in the thick of the clustered 5A-II Pima Region race with a win over Phoenix Pinnacle last week. Every team except Desert Ridge has one loss, and the Coyotes must take care of business and then watch to see how the others fare.

Pinnacle (4-3, 1-1) at Desert Ridge (5-2, 1-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 10045 E Madero Ave., Mesa

Key matchup: This is a classic case of strength vs. strength when Mesa Desert Ridge’s high-flying offense goes up against a tough Pinnacle defense.

Key stat: 26. Pinnacle’s halftime deficit last week to Mesa Skyline before a furious rally fell just short.

The intrigue: Desert Ridge is the only team without a loss in the Pima Region, but gets another stiff test against Pinnacle. The Jaguars are in a groove offensively and the defense has played much better the past two weeks.

Marcos de Niza (6-1) at César Chavez (5-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 3921 W. Baseline Road, Laveen

Key matchup: The Padres have a very good secondary, but César Chavez quarterback Brandon Cluff and freshman wide receiver Davonte Neal will test it plenty.

Key stat: Marcos de Niza’s Ramon Abreu had 89 yards rushing and a pair of scores on offense last week, then added an 80-yard interception return on defense in a win over Horizon.

The intrigue: A break from the craziness of the 5A-II Pima Region for Marcos de Niza, but a game against an much-improved Chavez squad. The Champions have already beaten Red Mountain and Mountain Ridge this season.


Cactus Shadows (3-4, 1-2) at McClintock (4-3, 1-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1830 E Del Rio Drive, Tempe

Key matchup: Cactus Shadows likes to throw the ball, and the Chargers held Shadow Mountain to 4-for-20 passing last week.

Key stat: The Chargers have matched last year’s regular season win total already with three games left to play.

The intrigue: The Chargers came away with a huge win last week against Phoenix Shadow Mountain, and a victory against Cactus Shadows could very well wrap up a state tournament berth.

Shadow Mountain (2-5, 0-4) at Chaparral (6-1, 3-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 6935 E. Gold Dust Ave., Scottsdale

Key matchup: Shadow Mountain will almost certainly focus its energy on stopping running back Dwayne Garrett, so quarterback Spencer Stone and the passing game must take advantage.

Key stat: The Firebirds didn’t score a point last week after averaging more than 42 per game through their first six contests.

The intrigue: Chaparral must right the ship after losing 21-0 to Scottsdale Saguaro last week in its first game without leading receiver Tyler Williams.

No. 1 Saguaro (7-0, 4-0) at Apache Junction (6-2, 1-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 2525 S. Ironwood Drive, Apache Junction

Key matchup: Both teams love to run. Saguaro’s Beau Burton is the East Valley’s leading rusher and AJ’s Nate Scola and Shane McCullen form a dynamic combination. Whichever team establishes its run game will have the advantage.

Key stat: A win would be the 27th straight for Saguaro, one away from tying the 4A record.

The intrigue: The Sabercats are favored, of course, but they can’t be careless following last week’s big win over Scottsdale Chaparral.

No. 3 Paradise Valley (6-1) at No.  2 Peoria (7-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 11200 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria

Key matchup: Paradise Valley quarterback Kevin Spain isn’t asked to throw a lot, but he showed he can when called upon in a four-point loss to Saguaro three weeks ago. A talented Peoria defense will likely stack the box and make him do it again.

Key stat: This is matchup No. 2 in a five-game stretch where the Trojans face off against the preseason’s top 3 teams. Chaparral is next week.

The intrigue: A heavyweight matchup between two of the best teams in 4A-I. Peoria running back Jamal Miles might be the best player on the field, but Paradise Valley has the ability to beat teams from all angles.


No. 1 Notre Dame (7-0, 2-0) at Glendale (2-5, 1-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 6216 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale

Key matchup: Will Glendale have any answer for Notre Dame’s rushing attack, which compiled 306 yards last week, 229 by Andrew Stutz.

Key stat: The Saints have scored 142 points in their past four games combined. The Cardinals have scored 101 all season.

The intrigue: Will Notre Dame show any signs of a letdown after its emotional, last-minute win last week in the Bay Area?

Seton Catholic (5-3, 0-2) at No. 3 Coronado (7-0, 2-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 2501 N. 74th St., Scottsdale

Key matchup: Seton’s defenders have to be disciplined enough to stay in their lanes if they hope to keep speedster Kaylin Ashley (1,054 rushing yards) contained.

Key stat: The Sentinels have given up at least 41 points in each of their two region games.

The intrigue: A victory would guarantee the Dons a winning region record for the first time since 2004.

No. 5 Higley (5-2, 2-0) at Arcadia (6-1, 1-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 4703 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix

Radio: KDUS (1060 AM)

Key matchup: Arcadia’s defense has allowed opponents an average of 142 rushing yards the past four weeks. Higley running back Chris Campbell is averaging 189.3 over the same span.

Key stat: Higley is undefeated against 4A-II teams this season.

The intrigue: Will Arcadia quarterback Colby Kirkegaard be healthy enough to play? The junior, who leads the East Sky Region with a 57.1 completion percentage, injured his throwing shoulder last week.

Queen Creek (5-2) at Millennium (5-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 14802 W. Wigwam Blvd., Goodyear

Key matchup: Millennium quarterback Mike Massey, who has thrown for 1,405 yards, nine touchdowns and just two interceptions, faces a defense that has picked off 13 passes, the most of any 4A team.

Key stat: The Bulldogs are No. 6 in 4A-II power rankings, the Tigers are tied for seventh in 4A-I.

The intrigue: Millennium won last year’s meeting 15-7 on the road. Can Queen Creek return the favor?

Tempe (3-4) at Dysart (4-4)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 11425 N. Dysart Road, El Mirage

Key matchup: Dysart likes to keep seven or eight defenders in the box. Will Tempe be able to take advantage with its passing game, which has struggled often this season (39.3 completion percentage)?

Key stat: Dysart’s four victories this season are against teams with a combined record of 7-20. None had more than two wins.

The intrigue: If Tempe prevails it will end a three-game losing streak, match its win total from last season and remain in the top 13 in the power rankings.

Gila Ridge (4-4) at Perry (6-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1919 E. Queen Creek Road, Gilbert

Key matchup: Facing a team that can strike quickly, a priority for Perry will be keeping Gila Ridge’s offense off the field with its own long, sustained drives.

Key stat: The Pumas have scored at least 33 points in each of their first three home games.

The intrigue: Perry was exposed by a spread team two weeks ago, losing 35-20. Will it fare any better against a different spread team?

Williams Field (4-3) at Verrado (1-5)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 20050 W. Indian School Road, Buckeye

Key matchup: There isn’t one. This game shouldn’t be close unless Williams Field commits multiple turnovers.

Key stat: Nine Black Hawks combined to rush for 472 yards last week.

The intrigue: Will Williams Field be able to get all of its subs into the game before the end of the third quarter?


Valley Christian (5-2) at Northwest Christian (8-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 16401 N. 43rd Ave., Phoenix

Key matchup: Valley Christian hasn’t faced an offense this potent and diverse since Week 2 against Phoenix Christian, and the Trojans defense will have to get pressure from its linemen so the linebackers can help contain the Crusaders’ potent passing game.

Key stat: Valley Christian held a 315-87 advantage in rushing in last year’s 27-20 victory.

The intrigue: We’ll start with a possible region title at stake between the two remaining undefeated teams within 2A Central play. Then there’s the real possibility they’ll play each other again late in the playoffs.

North Pointe Prep (2-6) at Scottsdale Christian (6-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 14400 N. Tatum Blvd., Scottsdale

Key matchup: Can North Pointe Prep chase the two-headed running monster of quarterback Jacob Storrer and running back Taylor Barnes? They’ve combined for nearly 1,900 yards and 22 touchdowns rushing.

Key stat: Camp Verde managed three plays that went longer than 40 yards against Scottsdale Christian last week.

The intrigue: The Eagles were pushed to the brink late against Camp Verde. That shouldn’t happen against North Pointe, but it wasn’t supposed to happen last week either. Throw in next week’s look-ahead factor with Valley Christian and the Eagles had better take care of business early and often against the Falcons.

Camp Verde (4-4) at Canyon State Academy (2-6)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 20061 Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek

Key matchup: Camp Verde averages nearly nine yards per carry as a team, and relies on a three-pronged rushing attack, which means the Rams defensive front will be put the test physically and discipline-wise in sticking with their lane assignments.

Key stat: Camp Verde’s opponents have 44 wins this season, trailing only Thatcher’s 51 among 2A teams.

The intrigue: Canyon State figured itself to be three plays removed from what would have been an enormous upset of Northwest Christian last week and coach Louis Ruesing said this week he’s seen no signs of players wallowing or folding up the tents.


Salt River (5-3) at No. 5 Tempe Prep (7-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: Valley Christian High, 6900 W. Galveston St., Chandler

Key matchup: Salt River plays a physical, smash-mouth brand of football designed to wear teams down in the second half. The best way for Tempe Prep, which excels at coming up with big plays, to combat the Eagles’ attack is to score early and often.

Key stat: These teams have one common opponent, Valley Lutheran. Salt River beat the Flames 50-42 last week. Tempe Prep topped Valley Lutheran 36-0 in Week 2.

The intrigue: Tempe Prep is in search of its first playoff victory. It is 0-2 all-time.

  • Discuss


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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]