Queen Creek wanted to show it could play with a big brother. McClintock wanted to prove its unbeaten start is for real.
Only McClintock came away with the evidence it was after Friday night when Queen Creek visited the Chargers.
The 4A Division II Bulldogs, who also entered the game unbeaten, committed two early mistakes and never recovered as the 4A-I Chargers posted a relatively easy 22-0 victory to raise their record to 5-0.
"We didn't play a good game," said Queen Creek coach Curt LeBlanc, whose team fell to 4-1. "We gave them six points in the first minute-and-a-half. We just didn't execute. That's the bottom line."
LeBlanc was referring to the first possession of the game when Queen Creek had a punt blocked. Lineman Corey Soares scooped up the ball and rambled 17 yards for McClintock's first score.
The Bulldogs' second possession didn't end much better. After the Bulldogs gained a first down, they fumbled the ball to the Chargers at midfield two plays later.
While McClintock didn't score off the turnover, it gave the Chargers a huge momentum lift that they never relinquished.
It would have been easy for the Chargers to take Queen Creek lightly. They were bigger and deeper than the Bulldogs. The fact that they held Queen Creek to 128 yards from scrimmage illustrates they did take the game seriously.
"We knew those guys were a good team," McClintock quarterback Gavin Lemusu said of the Bulldogs, who have been a surprise this season since they just moved up from 3A. "All week our coaches were telling us these guys are a good team no matter what division they are. They had a history of winning at 3A, so we knew they would be tough no matter what division they play in."
McClintock coach Steve Campbell said he wouldn't let his team view the Bulldogs as being in a lower division.
"We didn't look at it as a Division I, Division II thing," he said. "We looked at it as a good team playing a good team. We know the top teams in Division II can play with the teams in Division I. We knew we had to play hard.
"It's important we took advantage of (their) mistakes."
McClintock went up 12-0 with 17 seconds left in the first quarter when Mack Martin burst through the middle and sprinted 22 yards to the end zone.
A Queen Creek gamble led to the Chargers' third score early in the second half. Queen Creek was facing fourth-and-15 at its own 39-yard line. The Bulldogs lined up to punt but instead Dominic Gamboa took off running and came up 5 yards short of a first down.
Two plays later, Devin Richardson sprinted 47 yards for a touchdown, essentially putting the game out of reach.
Although the Chargers are 5-0, Lemusu said they are trying to ignore their record and focus on the approach of difficult Desert Sky Region play.
"We try not to think about it," Lemusu said. "We try to go in every week as the underdog. We're just trying to keep our composure."
When LeBlanc watches the game tape, he probably will take solace in the fact that his team played good defense. The Bulldogs held McClintock to only two offensive touchdowns. LeBlanc, though, wasn't passing out any compliments for his Bulldogs.
"We didn't come out ready to do play," he said. "That's disappointing."